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. See my complete profile
This week’s NYC Scene Report features the chilled out indie pop of ACES, pop punk / indie rock from American Pinup, a hip-hop collaboration between P.SO the Earth Tone King and 2 Hungry Bros., and some fast paced synthy goodness from Oliver Ralli.
* Brooklyn duo ACES, with their chilled out indie pop, have been drawing comparisons to acts like HAIM, Glasser, and Lana Del Rey. After checking out “What Do You Think They’ll Say About Me?,” however, I think Mazzy Star might be a more apt comparison, or at least a band that should be mentioned in that mix.
The song is the first of a collection the ACES duo of Alexandra Stewart and Russ Flynn completed this spring. Stewart began the writing process twelve months ago, while in Ontario, and ACES have been recording the songs in Flynn’s home studio in Bushwick.
Describing their music as “patient pop primed for sunset drives, and slow-motion romance,” ACES’ first offering is a very cool one.
Check out the video for “What Do You Think They’ll Say About Me?” Personally, I think what people will say is, “We want to hear more.”
* A name like American Pinup might have you envisioning Bettie Page, but once you hear the music of American Pinup, the White Plains, NY, band might have you thinking a little bit about No Doubt.
The pop punk / indie rock hybrid is fronted by Lauren West, and her vocals are very reminiscent of Gwen Stefani’s. She’s one part singer, one part rocker, just like Gwen, and has the attitude to match.
That’s where the comparisons end, however, as American Pinup has a unique sound that’s an amalgamation of genres. Two full length albums, and two EPs deep, with another EP, The Radio EP, due out August 21st, West explains, “We bend genres, and tend to shift around on the pop/rock spectrum.”
She adds, “I think people dig that we're a little messy, a little nostalgic, perhaps, and overall, a really organic act.”
Check out the title track of the EP, and crank up “The Radio.”
* If you’ve been involved in NYC’s indie hip-hop scene at all over the past decade, the names P.SO the Earth Tone King, and 2 Hungry Bros., are ones you’re likely already familiar with. The first is a top notch emcee who’s torn down stages throughout the city (not literally. That would get him kicked out of venues really quickly). The second is a production duo that has worked with a veritable who’s who of NYC hip-hop.
What fans might not know is that P.SO and 2 Hungry Bros. have been working on songs together for the past seven years, and on August 28th they’ll be releasing an EP together titled Feast of Legend.
Guests on Feast of Legend will include Substantial, Likwuid, and Tanya Morgan, among others, and you can check out the album’s lead single, “Headphone Diaries,” right here. If you’re a hip-hop head, it will be music to your ears.
* No matter where you live, everybody loves a good night of hangin’ with the fellas, but that act can become epic when the hangin’ takes place in NYC, and it can become legendary if the fellas you’re hangin with are Oliver Ralli and his friends.
All of this is apparent in the Bushwick native’s video for his latest single, “Hangin’ With The Fellas.” The clip moves as rapidly as life in NYC, and parallels perfectly with the fast-paced, synth powered, song.
“Hangin’ With The Fellas” is off of Ralli’s solo debut, The Return To New Hope City Soundtrack, which was released in May of this year. Ralli is also known for his work as lead singer, and guitar player, for Pass Kontrol, and co-creating, and directing, the sci-fi rock opera New Hope City, which stars none other than Pass Kontrol.
Check out “Hangin’ With The Fellas,” and see if you can keep with Ralli.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.
B-Listers are a select group of artists that were featured in my Artist Of The Week series that ran every Monday from April of '06 to April of '11. All of these artists have two things in common; extreme talent, and a flight path far too under the radar for my liking. They took on the title of B-Listers as they embraced being featured by me, Adam B. Check out the AOTW Archives for all the interviews.