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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Pop Shots – Celebrating Turning 40

Pop Shots – 5 Songs on the Radio That Don’t Suck
Monday, November 12, 2018

Welcome to your weekly dose of pop world musings. Covering all things pop culture, this week I’m hitting you with something new that I hope you’ll really like. Longtime readers know how much I’ve enjoyed taking a look at the Billboard Hot 100; unfortunately, that chart has been ruined by the inclusion of streaming. Now, whenever an album people are interested in hits streaming services, every song from that album ends up charting, regardless of whether the songs are singles, or even something people want to hear twice.

With that in mind, I’m replacing “A Look At The Charts” with this brand spankin’ new concept – 5 Songs on the Radio that Don’t Suck. When you turn on the radio, it can be a crap shoot, but these special editions of Pop Shots will let you know what isn’t crap!

(FYI, I’ll still be doing retro looks at the charts, because those are really fun)

Of course, since this is Pop Shots, you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.

5 Seconds of Summer – Youngblood

When 5 Seconds of Summer debuted they were kinda-sorta viewed as a boyband, despite playing instruments. With the group’s vocals, and lyrical content – and I’m sure a record label’s strong desire to compete against the likes of One Direction, and The Wanted – it almost made sense. That said, calling them a boyband at this point would be a miscategorization – they’re a pop-rock band, and their latest single, “Youngblood,” is a damned good pop-rock song.

It looks like 5 Seconds of Summer will get far more than 15 minutes of fame.

Panic! at the Disco – High Hopes

“High Hopes” is an undeniably great song, but I gotta be honest, the first time I heard it I legit thought it was a Fall Out Boy song. Go ahead, shame me. It’s all good, I can take it.

Being that I like Fall Out Boy – and I’m not afraid to admit this publicly – and I like Panic! at the Disco, nothing about my appreciation of the song wavered once I learned who actually did it. Also, when it comes on at the gym it’s quite the motivator!

CHVRCHES – Miracle

This synth-pop gem doesn’t get a lot of play on Top 40 radio, but if you have an alt-rock station in your area there’s a good chance it has “Miracle” in rotation. Lemme tell ya, I crank this one all the way up every time it comes on. From a song construction standpoint it’s one of the best pop songs of the decade. The build up to the chorus is fantastic, and when those drums kick in … wooo! That’s good stuff, yo!

Bebe Rexha – I’m A Mess

Longtime readers of this column already know I’ve appreciated Bebe Rexha’s work for quite some time. Seeing her live at Warped Tour a handful of years ago only deepened this appreciation. The woman knows how to write damned catchy songs, and choruses that get stuck in your head for days. “I’m A Mess” is yet another great example of this (as is the fact that her “Meant To Be” collaboration with Florida Georgia Line has spent nearly an entire year at #1 on the Hot Country Songs chart).

Ariana Grande – Breathin

When it comes to making great pop music with an R&B influence to it, nobody does it better than Ariana Grande. You already know I’ve been a fan of hers since her first album, which featured songwriting and production by Babyface.

Grande continues to be a grand force in pop music, and I’m happy whenever her music comes on the radio.

And with that, my time is up for the week, but I'll be back next week with more shots on all things pop.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:00 AM   0 comments
Stacking The Deck with L’FREAQ
Friday, November 09, 2018

Stacking The Deck is a feature exclusive to Adam’s World where I bring packs of 1991 Pro Set Superstars MusiCards to artists, and we discuss who they find in each pack.

NYC, by way of Arizona, alt-pop artist L’FREAQ has a provocative name, and equally provocative sound.

Raised on a combination of Elliot Smith, and opera, she admits that when it comes to music, “I didn’t really have a traditional upbringing.” That non-traditional upbringing has led to L’FREAQ creating some non-traditional, boundary breaking, music.

Her unique sound can be heard on her recently released EP, Weird Awakenings, which features elements of dark synth pop, trip-hop, and downtempo.

I caught up with L’FREAQ before her EP release show at Coney Island Baby in NYC to open up some packs of MusiCards, and the artists we found sparked conversations about musical inspirations, Doctor Who, and surviving in a hypothetical dystopian future.

Ziggy Marley

I went to Jamaica for a wedding, and I ended up staying on this huge compound. There were probably 30 people – Jamaicans, Americans, British people, people from all over the world – and it was just so full of love, and so cool, and they were playing Bob Marley, Ziggy Marley, everything was pretty much the Marleys. It was pretty cool.

When you were coming back home did you write something on the plane that was reggae influenced?

Reggae is so interesting because I’ve never been immediately drawn to it, but I love Amy Winehouse, and Amy Winehouse has some reggae influences. I hear that sometimes in her writing, especially on Frank, her first album. When I heard Frank I was like wow, maybe I actually really like reggae.

I also like the culture behind it, just the way that people act with each other when they listen to reggae.

It sounds like you’re in the stages of discovering what you love in the genre.

Yeah, I’m just starting with that genre, and it’s pretty amazing.

So if I ask you this question a year from now …

I could be a completely versed reggae-head. {laughs}

Huey Lewis

Amazing musician, and also one of Patrick Bateman’s favorite artists in American Psycho. Which artists can you put an album of on and give a Patrick Bateman style speech about them, and their music?

Number one would be Jeff Buckley. I can do that with every song that he’s done. I’m absolutely obsessed with him.

Maybe Edith Piaf.

I have a lot of older influences that I think people that I love were also influenced by.

Probably Amy (Winehouse), actually.

I read the book American Psycho, and it’s funny because for Huey Lewis specifically he has four whole pages on his records. And I saw the musical, which was hilarious.

Didn’t the musical have Matt Smith from Doctor Who?


Wasn’t that only in London?

It was on Broadway here, but it was only on for like a month or two, but I loved it. It’s very violent, it’s very disgusting. {laughs}

I thought it was an interesting casting choice.

I kind of love it, though. Matt Smith was my first Doctor.

So you’re a fellow Doctor Who fan!

Yes. Well, I’ve only seen Matt, David (Tennant), and Peter Capaldi.

And now Jodie (Whittaker).

I haven’t seen any of those episodes yet.

Jodie’s awesome.

I’ve heard that she’s really good, and I think people have been waiting for a female Doctor for a long time, so it’s cool to see that.

We’re totally transitioning from Huey Lewis to sci-fi, but are you a fellow sci-fi nerd?

I don’t know about sci-fi. I like more fantasy, probably. I do really like dystopian sci-fi. I was really into BioShock growing up, and Black Mirror I find really interesting.

I do like kind of weird, dystopian, futuristic TV shows and movies.

Has that played any role in your look on stage?

It has, especially the outfit that I’m wearing tonight by Jason Triosi, who was on Project Runway. He is very influenced by Mad Max, which I love, and he designed this custom outfit for me tonight which is part Mad Max, part Star Wars, and a little bit Cabaret.

In a dystopian future, what level of badass do you think you’d be?

I think everybody would like to think they’re super badass, and would just beat everybody to death, but I don’t know how long I’d survive. {laughs}

I’ve thought about this before, too, because when The Hunger Games was so big everyone was like, “Would you survive?”

I feel like I would probably just try to hide out.

That’s a way of surviving.

Exactly, or lure people with my music.

And get them to bring you food.

Or just get them close and then kill them.

And … cook them?

Well, kill them and maybe cook them. I don’t know.

I did not expect this to take a slight cannibalism turn, but OK, sure.


Jimi Hendrix

When I was growing up my guitar teacher was obsessed with Jimi Hendrix. How could you not be if you’re a guitar teacher? He was always giving me homework assignments to go home and listen to Jimi, and The Beatles.

I feel like every guitar teacher is obsessed with Jimi and The Beatles.

So I kinda got versed on those artists early on.

Do you play guitar?

I do. I’m left handed like Jimi, but Jimi turned his guitar upside down. He could take a right handed guitar and play it upside down. I have to restring it. I’m really left handed.

I also assume you don’t light yours on fire … yet.

I do not light my guitar on fire yet, but that might be at a future show.

That’s why we have to keep going to your shows.

Yes. That’s true.

Belinda Carlisle

Belinda was a really strong, kick ass, woman in music at a time when it was pretty difficult to be a strong, kick ass, woman in music. With the music scene today, while there are a lot of female artists, the male dominance has not changed, so … how the heck do you deal with us?


Man, that’s a big question to unpack. I don’t know. I feel like the tides are changing with female artists, and they’re being celebrated. I just feel like there are so many female musicians that are rising above, and proving that gender doesn’t really matter, and that you can be really talented at something and still be a female, and you don’t have to be a “female producer” you can just be a producer, and I love that.

I’ve started producing, and it’s cool to get together with other women and discuss the strange coincidences that we all have in this industry.

Strange coincidences. I like the way you put that.

It happens to everybody.

But it’s cool to be on stage, and I take a lot of inspiration from male rockers. I love David Bowie, for example. David Byrne, I love. I’ve watched their concerts so many times that sometimes you take certain mannerisms from them, and you bring them into your own performance, and I love it when people look at me and they’re like, “I want to be her. I want to take her movements.” That’s really what it’s all about, it’s about inspiring people.

David Bowie was very androgynous as a rocker, and I know you have sexual fluidity, which is evident throughout your performances and videos, so it makes sense that you and him would be kindred spirits.

Yeah, I love Bowie. I mean, who doesn’t? He’s amazing. Prince, also.

I love that they were so unapologetically them, and they just didn’t care what other people thought, which is part of being a rock star. I love that.

For more L’FREAQ check out lfreaq.com, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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NYC Scene Report – Big Village Little City, Otis Clapp, & more
Wednesday, November 07, 2018

This week’s NYC Scene Report features a jazzy, soulful, hip-hop jam from Big Village Little City, hip-hop artist Otis Clapp taking aim at those who give “Fake Love,” indie rock duo Soft Center dealing with some “Loose Ends,” and singer-songwriter Saul Rivers creating some “Change.”

* If you were listening to music in the ‘90s you enjoyed the heyday of when hip-hop had major jazz influences, and created vibes that were dope on multiple levels. NYC’s Big Village Little City is a throwback to that era, combining jazz, hip-hop, and soul. Rather than sampling the sounds, however, they have the band to make it happen live.

The group was founded in 2016, launched by Minneapolis-bred rapper Forefeather and veteran NYC jazz singer Amy Grace, and their debut album, Over the Weather, is due out November 9th.

Grace described the album in a statement, saying, “Each song will make you dance in a different way. Every track has a vibe that inspires its own kind of movement. The live show is high energy, and you can really feel it through the recordings.”

Give the album’s lead single, “Snake Oil,” a spin, and move your body to Big Village Little City.

* Queens-based emcee Otis Clapp has no time for “Fake Love,” and his latest song takes aim at those he’s been there for, but haven’t had his back in return.

“This is my way of nonchalantly telling my fake ‘friends’ to eat a frank,” he says of “Fake Love.”

The song is the fourth single off Otis Clapp’s Quentin EP, which was released in August of this year and was produced entirely by Ricky Vaughn.
Check out the video for “Fake Love,” and crank up the volume if you happen to see one of those types of people walking by.

* Brooklyn-based indie rock duo Soft Center released their debut album, No Pattern, last month, and according the to band, recording the project involved a little bit of time travel.

In a statement, the twosome of Gina Pensiero and Sean Lango described the recording process, saying “Some of our earliest memories of playing music together are from the pre-smartphone era, but all of our past recordings together have been partially, or totally, digital in process. When we had the opportunity to escape NYC to John Vanderslice’s Tiny Telephone Studio in California and immerse ourselves in the analog world, we jumped right into it. This recording was about opening up to the vulnerability that’s inherent in leaving computers and screens out of the work. Recording this way not only let us focus more on the sounds themselves – rather than their digital, visual representations – but also helped us embrace imperfection. Neither of us are technophobes, but sometimes some beautiful things happen when you don’t get a thousand re-dos and limitless editing capabilities."

Check out the video for the single “Loose Ends,” and hear how going old school created an indie rock gem.

* Indie singer-songwriter Saul Rivers is down for a “Change.” “Change” being the recently released single from his new live EP, The Pineapple Sessions.

Rivers described the inspiration for “Change” in a statement, saying, “I know that for many people, including myself, it can be hard to get out of your own way. We all have flaws that slow our growth down, and I wanted to write a song about realizing those flaws in myself, and making a conscious effort to change them so that I can reach my goals more efficiently. Basically I’m getting older, have more grey hair, and have started ‘adult-ing’ more.”

Another “Change” for Rivers came in the recording of the EP. “I had been performing these new songs at various shows and wanted to put together a raw and organic recording of them,” he explained, “There’s always so much that can be done in the studio to change the nature of a song, and I wanted to put something out that was truly real, with no edits or do-overs, that would capture the nature of their origins. Everything was recorded and filmed live in straight takes, and we had to choose the best full take from each song as we played it – something that can make any perfectionist uneasy, but is also a great exercise in allowing the imperfections of reality to make these recordings as unique and original as possible.”

Check out this live performance of “Change,” and you’ll hear why raw and real was definitely the way to go.

For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:00 AM   0 comments
Pop Shots – Tasty Stuff
Monday, November 05, 2018

Welcome to your weekly dose of pop world musings. Covering all things pop culture, this week Pop Shots is hitting you with thoughts on everything from Lana Del Rey taking a bite out of an Apple, to Little Mix sinking their teeth into the Nicki Minaj vs. Cardi B beef, to Miranda Lambert getting a taste of the single life, and since this is Pop Shots you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.

* Lana Del Rey closed out Apple’s special event in Brooklyn, NY, this past week, performing two songs from her upcoming album, Norman Fucking Rockwell. This makes sense, since much like most of Apple’s products, Lana Del Rey’s music exists on the theory of planned obsolescence.

* An unlikely set of voices chimed in on the beef between Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, as girl group Little Mix made it known that while they like both artists, they actually contacted Nicki for their new single, “Woman Like Me,” before offering a guest spot to Cardi (which Cardi turned down). This came after Cardi attempted to tell the world Nicki was her replacement on the track. I think when Little Mix pulls your card it’s time to bow out. I mean, just imagine if when LL Cool J and Canibus were trading jabs the Spice Girls suddenly came through with damaging info.

* 50 Cent claimed he bought 200 tickets to an upcoming Ja Rule concert just so the seats near the front would be empty. Soooo he wanted to make it look like one of his own concerts?

* Hilary Duff and Matthew Koma welcomed a daughter into the world this past week, but I’m sure Duff considers this news “So Yesterday.”

* KISS announced a multi-year farewell tour that will kick off in January. After the tour ends the band will face the challenge of what to do with their time now that they’ll no longer rock and roll all night, and party every day.

* Police arrested Ice-T after he failed to pay a toll at the George Washington Bridge. I just gotta say, it’s a bold move to arrest the guy who wrote “Cop Killer.”

* Universal Pictures’ Last Christmas, which was inspired by Wham!’s 1984 holiday hit of the same name, will feature previously unreleased music from the late George Michael, who helped create the concept for the film. This makes me wonder … when are we going to get a holiday movie based on Lady Gaga’s “Christmas Tree”?

* In disgusting human being news, rapper and admitted pedophile 6ix9ine was sentenced to four years probation by a Manhattan judge for charges dating back to a 2015 arrest for the use of a child in a sexual performance. The arrest came after video emerged of 6ix9ine engaging in sexual acts with a girl who was reportedly 13 years old at the time. The rapper pleaded guilty in October of 2015, and took a plea agreement. I’m sure R. Kelly has already filled up his voicemail asking to work with him.

* To close things out on a far more enjoyable note, Miranda Lambert led trio Pistol Annies are back with a song titled “Got My Name Changed Back.” I’m gonna go out on a limb and say this one probably won’t be on any of Blake Shelton or Gwen Stefani’s playlists. That said, when it comes to the video, I’m all for confetti cannons at the DMV!

And with that, my time is up for the week, but I'll be back next week with more shots on all things pop.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:00 AM   0 comments
Vid Pick: Jane Ellen Bryant – Too Smooth
Friday, November 02, 2018

One listen to Austin, TX, singer-songwriter Jane Ellen Bryant’s latest single, “Too Smooth,” and you’re sure to be wowed by the country pop tune that features an infusion of Motown soul.

The song is off her recently released EP, Let Me Be Lost, and lemme tell ya, you’ll be glad you found her music.

Wanting to know more about her, and her work, I caught up with Jane Ellen Bryant to ask her about the retro vibe of “Too Smooth,” the wide variety of genres she embraces, and what she’s found by being lost. We also discussed rotary phones, children’s Christmas concerts, and adult coloring books, because … journalism!

Everything about “Too Smooth,” from the song to the video, has a very cool retro vibe. Is any part of you an old soul?

Ooh, good question. I like to think so, but I guess you can’t really know for sure.

I feel like I identify with old souls.

I’m probably in-between somewhere, where I want to be young still, but I have a deeper understanding of things, maybe.

Were the boombox and rotary phone from your house? That would be a pretty clear indicator.

{laughs} They were from my best friend’s house, but I do have all old furniture, and things that would have fit right in with that video.

You have a best friend with a rotary phone? How old is she, 80?

Nope, she’s my age, but she, like me, collects old things.

That’s very cool. You could really hang those up, like get angry at someone and slam the phone.

Oh yeah, it’s so much more satisfying than pressing “end” on your screen.

Speaking of all things old school, let’s dive into your history. What records do you remember hearing your folks play when you were growing up that, in retrospect, helped shape you as the person, and artist, you are today?

I remember falling asleep at night and hearing my dad play Sheryl Crow albums. I just love her production, and her songwriting, and the pop commercial success it had without losing this edge, cool, individual thing that she had. So she was a huge influence.

I was also a ‘90s kid, so of course the Spice Girls, and Shania Twain, and the Dixie Chicks had their influence, but my dad introduced me to all the great rock n roll legends, and a lot of folk, and old school country. It was a pretty wide scope, but Sheryl Crow, and a Shawn Colvin album called A Few Small Repairs, I remember vividly paying attention to the sounds, and the production, when I was in elementary school, and I always wanted to be one of those singer-songwriters that really had this unique songwriting, unique voice, unique production.

Were you a talent show kid, or did you not showcase your skills until you were a bit more grown?

I was always a performer, but it started more so with dance.

I would take voice lessons, and be singing at home, but I didn’t sing as much publicly until junior high, or high school, in school, or in a church. Pretty much anywhere that would let me on a stage, I would find it.

I started songwriting more in high school, so the path became more clear when my guitar, and piano playing, and songwriting came into play, but always a performer, always making my siblings sit down and watch me. Poor things.

The dance routine from elementary school, is it on a VHS tape somewhere?

{laughs} It totally is. There’s hours of VHS tapes of my sister and I singing the Spice Girls, or doing the “Macarena,” just terrible shit, but I do remember specifically how making up dances was my way of expressing how powerful the song made me feel.

Do you remember the first song you performed on a stage, in front of an audience that wasn’t your family?
This may not have been the first, but I remember in sixth grade my friend and I did a duet for Christmas of “O Come All Ye Faithful,” and it had this part where I had to sing really high, and in Latin, and I felt like that was really cool, being able to do that. I remember it went over well, and it got me wanting to get in front of an audience more often.

So you were the bright spot in middle school Christmas shows, because usually those shows are an awful mess.

Oh yeah, and I’m a voice teacher now, so I have to sit through those things, and they are awful, so if you have somebody that isn’t awful you all remember it, and you’re sure to tell them.

Moving to the present, “Too Smooth” is wildly different than the two singles that preceded it, “Attention,” and “Take Me as I Am.” How did you come to embrace so many different styles of music, and what do you feel is the common thread, or theme, that can be found throughout all your work?

That is the ultimate question in my life these days.

When I wrote these songs, like before you hear the production number, and you just hear the bare bones of them, they didn’t feel all that different to me at the time.

I knew “Attention” was more pop, dance, oriented, “Too Smooth” was a little bit more country, and with “Take Me As I Am” I wanted to do a digital pop thing. I just decided to change each song fully to what that song was meant to be, and I didn’t think as much of what Jane Ellen Bryant is meant to be, so there is a little bit of a disconnect there, but it all came from me. I just tried to chase what I heard the potential of those songs being.

The “Attention” video was such a trip. It was a crazy idea. I was thinking, “Damn, what would I do if I wasn’t scared about this at all, and just went for it?”

I wanted to dance, and I wanted to have this crazy storyline, and I wanted to experiment with what people would be the most drawn to after they saw it all, and maybe that would show me the way to lean towards the next consistent record sound.

I didn’t intend for the songs to be so different, I just sort of chased each of them to their fullest potential, and I got very different results, but they always came from a very genuine spot. They were written by me, and performed by me. I don’t know, maybe I’m just all over the place.

All of those songs are off your new EP, Let Me Be Lost. What have you found can be discovered by being lost?

Great question. You can discover things that you don’t know about yourself, and about others.

It’s given me a kinder understanding of people around me and what they’re going through, and how easy it is to see it from an outsider’s perspective, and how difficult it is to understand when it’s your own life.

This year for me has been good, but it’s been hard. It’s been full of change, and full of closed doors, and full of a lot of ideas that didn’t work. A year ago I wouldn’t have said that. A year ago I would have told you I knew exactly how this year was gonna go, and that was naive.

I hope that by being lost that I am closer to finding who I am as a person, and where I want to go, and what I want to represent as an artist.

All I can say is that I genuinely put out things, and I didn’t try to compromise myself. I showed people that yeah, I’m a little bit confused right now, because I can do this and this and this. Let me be that. Let me be where I’m at, and tell me what you think, but also accept me for where I’m at. I hope that people understand that, and that maybe it helps them reflect on their own life.

Taking the concept of being lost in a completely different way, what’s the most lost you’ve ever been while on the road … or has GPS made it impossible for anyone to get lost anymore?

I think miscommunication is the closest thing I have to being lost, because GPS typically takes you where you need to go, but if some booking agent, or somebody told you load in was at a certain time, so you take your sweet ass time, and you’re like oh cool we have all day, let’s go to this White Sands desert of New Mexico, and let’s go here and there and there, and you show up in Arizona thinking that you’re right on time, and it turns out you’re missing your gig, and everyone’s pissed, and you’re like, shit, it’s not my fault, I was told this time, but I’m the one who’s definitely gonna have to suffer the consequences and take the blame for this.

There are days like that on tour, especially when you’re getting started. You’re like oh my God, why did I drive all the way to Arizona to make $25 and play to nobody and have everyone yell at me?

That’s confusing, that can definitely make you feel lost, even if you are technically at the address you were told to go to, you’re not really sure why (you’re there). There was a lot of that when I toured last year.

Finally, in a question I rarely get to ask – tell me about your coloring book!

I became obsessed with adult coloring books at around the time my Twenties EP came out (in 2016), and I thought it was a good way to stick with the theme of not quite being ready to grow up.

It was a fun, unique thing to have, and the girl who illustrated it was a young 20s girl, and she had a great perspective. That was fun.

Is there anything else you’d like to add about yourself, your music, or the world?

I guess if people like a certain song, or if they’re gravitating towards something, to let me know, to give me a follow, to share with others, because when you’re just getting started, or it feels like you’re just getting started, every little bit, every opinion, and every fan, goes so far.

For more Jane Ellen Bryant, check out janeellenbryant.com, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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NYC Scene Report – Car Astor, Macseal, & more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

This week’s NYC Scene Report features an electro-pop gem from Car Astor, the column debut of indie pop-rock outfit Macseal, a breakup anthem from hip-hop soul songstress Corina Corina, and some “Hot Canyon Air” from synth-pop-rock duo paris_monster.

* Sometimes you hear a song for the first time and immediately know, “This one’s a banger.” It’s just that obvious. This happens to be the case with Car Astor’s latest single, “Girlfriend.”

The Long Island-based Car Astor, who was formerly known as SEE, explained the inspiration for the electro-pop gem, saying, “‘Girlfriend’ is about a very confusing emotional relationship I was caught in for this past year. I met someone, and we had a very obvious connection, but they were seeing someone else, so it got really messy. This song was written during an angry moment, so I’m really just trying to relay exactly how I felt, and to be as honest and straightforward as possible.”

She adds that the song, which was co-written by Kirsten Maxwell and produced with Walter Kazmier, is “the first song I’ve written from this angry emotion, and it’s also probably the most upbeat and dance-y song I’ve ever done!”

Car Astor will be performing at Mercury Lounge on December 23rd, and is currently prepping an EP for 2019. Check out the video for "Girlfriend," and hear why she’s an artist to get excited about.

* Blurring the lines between pop-rock, pop punk, and college rock, Long Island’s Macseal are a new discovery for the NYC Scene Report, and I’m happy I came across their music. The band has a great sound which can be heard on their latest single, “Sure Thing, Shelly.”

I’m not sure who Shelly is, but if she had any part of influencing the creation of the song, she is, at the very least, deserving of a thank you note.

“Sure Thing, Shelly” is off Macseal’s upcoming EP, Map It Out, which will be released on November 9th via 6131 Records, and you can check out the song right here.

* If you’ve ever attended one of Brooklyn-based hip-hop soul artist Corina Corina’s shows you’ve probably heard her sing “Toothbrush,” as the song has been her closing number for years. She hadn’t, however, formally released the song … until now. Not only that, she recently released a video for the song which features some amazing choreography.

Calling “Toothbrush” a “middle finger to the ex” anthem, she described the process for creating the video – which involved working with Brooklyn-based modern dance choreographer Nicole Assanti of Nikki and the Noise Dance Company – saying, “I just told Nicole about my vision – modern dancers in monochromatic outfits doing a lot of floor work in a large white studio.”

Assanti took it from there, and created a clip that expresses the song beautifully. Click play, and remember not to use your toothbrush if you ever do Corina Corina wrong (but why would you do Corina Corina wrong?).

* When you hear the name paris_monster you might initially imagine a zombie Paris Hilton scaring children in the street on a Halloween night like tonight … OK, maybe I’m the only person who would imagine that. Regardless, what you should think of is the NYC-based indie synth-pop-rock duo paris_monster.

The twosome of Josh Dion and Geoff Kraly recently released their latest single, “Hot Canyon Air,” and Dion explained the musical side of the song in a statement, saying, “The drums and bass-line were written together. They fit within one another. The riff has a certain tension, because I wanted the verse to release into the chorus. This propels the song forward and helps it build.”

“Hot Canyon Air” is off paris_monster’s upcoming album, Lamplight. Fans of the duo have been able to pick up the album at shows, but Lamplight’s national release won’t be until early 2019. Of course, you can check out “Hot Canyon Air” right here.

For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:00 AM   0 comments

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