Four Queens musicians and bands to add to your 2017 playlist – QNS.com

Four Queens musicians and bands to add to your 2017 playlist

Photo by Brittany Barb


The beginning of a new year is a great reminder to try new things, from fitness routines to hobbies. Your iTunes library could probably use an update, and the start of 2017 is a great excuse to discover some new music. Here are four local musicians and bands that you should check out.


Doris Cellar

Photo by Peter DeJesus
Photo by Peter DeJesus

Doris Cellar is an Astoria songstress whose mix of R&B, electronica and indie rock melds together, becoming a unique pop creation that reminds us of early Robyn and makes us want to lace up our roller skates and get moving. Growing up in the neighborhood definitely influenced Cellar’s sound.

“Since Astoria has always been multicultural, I grew up listening to R&B, rock, soul and whatever else neighbors would blast out of their windows: Greek, Indian, salsa, Hot 97, KRock, Z100 and SOU [death metal],” she said. “We grew up listening to all the sounds of the world because that’s what Astoria is — we are every culture combined into one.”

Each track of love and loss takes complex instrumentation and renders them raw again. Cellar remembers the analog waves of yesterday fondly.

Nikki NYFA 05

“I grew up in a time and place before the internet when we were lucky to have it all on our radios,” she said. “I would sit there with a tape and wait for my jam to come on so I could hit record on my cassette player.”

In 2017, Cellar will embark on her first European tour as a solo artist to promote her new album, which she mixed at home.

In this New Year filled with uncertainty, we asked Doris what her thoughts were on the current political climate.

“I tend to think positive because I think fear is a beautiful thing,” she told us. “Fear can make us change so fast we wouldn’t even know what hit us. It’s not great to be motivated by it all the time, but when it strikes, our instincts drive us in the right direction. It’s a great time for real change. Change is good and necessary.”

– Pete’s Candy Store (petescandystore.com) at 709 Lorimer St. (Feb. 3, 10 p.m.)

Facebook: www.facebook.com/doriscellar

Shannon Soderlund

Photos by Steel Brooks
Photos by Steel Brooks

A five-piece band chock-full of playful and soulful harmonies driven by a steady rock ‘n’ roll beat, Shannon Söderlund is local band worth checking out.

“We toe the line of gospel, jazz and blues, but lean most heavily toward rock,” lead singer Shannon Söderlund said. “A lot of people describe it as having a ‘90s vibe.”

Currently residing in Astoria, Söderlund has found herself “reveling” in the local music scene.

“My primary songwriting ‘studio’ is the streets of Queens — the path between my apartment and the train, as well as the East River and walks in Astoria Park, fuel my songwriting muse regularly.”


Like the upbeat, optimistic music they make, the band is hopeful for the future.

“There is so much to look forward to, so much to rejoice in,” Söderlund said.

Söderlund has found that current social issues have influenced their music: “This has manifested itself somewhat in my lyrics, but has also shaped my thoughts about my team, who I want to work with, and what I want to do as I manage my band.”


Shannon Söderlund and their polished pop sound play regularly at The Queens Kickshaw, The Quays and a few other places around the neighborhood.

– The Queens Kickshaw (thequeenskickshaw.com) at 40-17 Broadway in Astoria (Jan. 13, 9 to 11 p.m.)
– The Quays at 4502 30th Ave. in Astoria (Jan. 21, 9:30 p.m.)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shannonsoderlund/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shannonsoderlund/

Evening Darling

Photos by Brittany Barb
Photos by Brittany Barb

With a lot of bands bringing shades of ‘90s emo and pop back to the forefront, Evening Darling and their straight-forward, guitar-driven sound is heavily inspired by a different decade.

“Our sound is coastal folk-rock, influenced by ‘70s AM radio and our own drives up and down Interstate 95,” explained lead guitarist and sometimes singer Nick Lerangis.

The band practices beneath Bakeway Bakery and The Strand Smokehouse in Astoria.

“There is an insistent, dogged and working person’s sense of forward motion in Astoria and that shapes our lyrics and our own ability to limit pretentiousness,” Lerangis said.


Baffled by the current political climate, Evening Darling’s music “both empathizes with and envisions a way forward for this slice of America.”

The band has big goals for 2017, like “One: to release our self-titled debut album and get it to every blog and radio station we can. We are so excited about it. It sounds great and the album art looks incredible. Two: to tour twice — once in the spring, and again in the fall/winter.”

We are certain that they will accomplish both of the above and much more.

– An Beal Bocht (anbealbochtcafe.com) at 445 W 238th St. in the Bronx (Feb. 3)
– Muchmore’s (muchmoresnyc.com) at 2 Havemeyer St. in Brooklyn (Feb. 4)
– Cafe Nine (cafenine.com) at 250 State St. in New Haven (March 2)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eveningdarling
Instagram: @evening_darling
Twitter: @evening_darling

J.D. Patch

Photos by Anthony Galasso
Photos by Anthony Galasso

It’s not J.D. Patch’s first time at the rodeo (forgive us, we have been wanting to use that one). The Astoria-based musician who plays around town with The Hell Dwellers has concocted his own brand of “outlaw” country music that is gaining popularity in an unlikely home.

“This is a melting pot, and I get people coming up to me from Texas, Georgia, South Carolina. I mean, NYC is the epicenter of everywhere. People escape their small town and come to NYC. I’ll get someone who is like, ‘Thank you so much for jamming some country music; it reminds me of back home.’”

Patch has called Astoria home since 2006.


“I think being in Astoria and NYC gives certain energy to the music,” Patch said. “New York in general has a lot of energy. I think being in a city subconsciously gives you that outlet of go, go, go, go.”

About his traditionalist country style, Patch explained, “This whole new wave of outlaw country is about going against the system about writing what you feel and being who you are. Jonnie Paycheck. All those guys!”

Referencing the infamous “Take this Job and Shove It” songwriter certainly paints a picture of a guy who doesn’t take much from anyone.

“I am paving my own way kind of thing,” Patch said. “Writing my own songs. Writing what I feel. Let it be what it is. You like it or you don’t. To each their own.”


J.D. Patch released his fifth record in 2016 called “Reckless on Excess.” You can catch him and The Hell Dwellers doing their thing around the neighborhood.

– Bar Chord (barchordnyc.com) at 1008 Cortelyou Rd. in Brooklyn (Jan. 18)
– LIC Beer Project (licbeerproject.com) at 39-28 23rd St. in Long Island City (Feb. 10)

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jdpatch20/
Instagram: @jdpatch
Twitter: @patchjd

More from Around New York