Who: Natalie & Elliot Bergman (bro & sis). Side project of Michigan-based band NOMO.
Scene: Chicago, IL.
Sounds like: Not what you would expect – that’s for damn sure. When I first saw a photo of them, I expected some kind of folk, indie mashup of Mumford & Sons and one of the variously unknown, hipstery, female artists blessed with kleenex-soft vocal chords. Boy do looks deceive. To my astonishment, they have a sweet and soulful ska/reggae sound -imagine if Sublime and Lykke Li had a love child.
Why they’re awesome: The Bergman siblings sure do pack a surprising punch of richly composed tuneage (horns and kalimba and other wild instruments?!) that would make even the toughest crowd crumble to pieces. Their first single, “Keep You,” (off their debut 12”, due February 7 on Sandhill Sounds) is the ultimate head-bobber and hip-swayer, otherwise very Venice Beach-esque. I cannot wait to hear what else they come up with.