Women in Music 2016

New Politics Leave Everyone Wanting More at Barclays Center

Jeyhoun Allebaugh
New Politics performs in the Billboard Lounge after a game between the Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat on Jan. 26, 2016.

All politics should be like New Politics were on Tuesday night.

Appearing at the Billboard Lounge in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center following a heartbreaking Nets loss to the Heat, the two-thirds-Danish alt-rock trio turned in a brief, focused, high-spirited acoustic set that was most notable for what it lacked: unnecessary noise and chatter. It was the opposite of a presidential primary debate: a performance that actually left people wanting more.

On record, the three songs New Politics played Tuesday are stuffed full of exaggerated stomp-clap drums, distorted guitars, and synths. Formed in Copenhagen and now based in Brooklyn, the threesome belongs to the class of genre-devouring, rafter-reaching big-room alternative bands that includes Walk the Moon, Atlas Genius, and Twenty One Pilots. But these Danes can get it done without all the gimmicks.

On opener “You Give Me Hope,” from the band’s self-titled 2010 debut, frontman David Boyd sang with soulful assurance over Søren Hansen’s purposeful strumming and NYC native Louis Vecchio’s wooden-box drumming. When it got to the rap-tinged bridge part, Boyd coaxed lounge patrons into clapping along, and that was before he even started breakdancing.

That began on the next song, “Everywhere I Go (Kings and Queens),” the lead track from New Politics’ third album, 2015’s Vikings. The song features a cool descending chord pattern, a lively beat, and a reference to the Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep Till Brooklyn,” which always plays well at the Barclays. Toward the end of the tune, Boyd backflipped off the stage and commenced flipping and spinning, like he could hear the booming drums from the studio version.

Boyd offered more of the same on closer “Harlem,” the breakout 2013 single (No. 4 on Alternative Songs) that’s helped the band achieve headliner status. But before he hit the floor and busted a series of moves that ended with a grand-finale headstand, Boyd gyrated along with Hansen and Vecchio’s best attempts to recreate the tune’s over-the-top stadium-punk strut. 

“When it gets loud, I turn it up,” the guys sang, celebrating their adopted hometown with an assertion that needed no fact-checking. They proved it on the spot.