Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Music journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie artists. 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 punk rock of Dead Ahead, powerful hip-hop from Notar, an 80s influenced indie pop song from Birch, and the singer-songwriter stylings of Weyes Blood.
* What do you do when your band is taking a break, but you still have the desire to make music? In the case of the members of Newburgh, NY, punk rock group Dead Ahead, the answer was to find some other musicians in the same situation, and start playing together.
The lineup of Dead Ahead consists of Jesse Vadala of With The Punches on lead vocals, Rob Kucharek of Autopilot Off on bass, Johnny Keane of Measured In Grey on guitar, and Dennis O’Brien on drums, and with the upcoming October 9th release of their self-titled debut EP on Panic State Records, what began as a side project has become something much more.
"Cold Truth" is the lead single off of Dead Ahead’s EP. Check it out, and rock out with them.
* Earlier this year, NYC hip-hop artist Notar released his latest project, an intense concept album titled L.A.R.r.Y. L.A.R.r.Y tells the story of a war veteran who comes home to find the world a mostly unwelcoming, and lonely, place, and what happens when he simply can’t deal with what he’s experiencing.
It's a powerful, and emotional, ride, as Notar pulls no punches with his writing, making each song extremely deliberate. For an example of this, check out the single "Sacrifice," which features Adam Duritz of Counting Crows. It hits hard, and for Notar, that's the point.
* I first wrote about Brooklyn indie pop trio Birch back in July. When I did, I noted they had an old school feel, as their lead single, "Halfway," featured a 60s influence. Their latest single, "Fighting Words," takes listeners to a completely different era – the 80s.
Filled with electro-pop goodness, the sythny "Fighting Words" is about Birch singer-songwriter Michelle Birsky's hometown in CT, and draws on stories from her peers who grew up in ultra-conservative homes.
The song is off of Birch's recently released debut EP, Halfway, and you can hear their "Fighting Words" right here.
* NYC singer-songwriter Weyes Blood is currently on tour, and will be through October 20th, but that's not stopping her from releasing new music, as midway through her tour she’ll be hitting listeners with her latest project, an EP titled Cardamom Times.
Due out October 9th on Mexican Summer, Cardamom Times was recorded at Weyes Blood's home studio on Rockaway Beach on reel-to-reel, and questions how modernity is affecting courtship, and love.
Are those concepts, as we once saw them, heard them sung about, and read about in books, nostalgia at this point? In a world of swipe right, and text conversations, it's a valid question, and one Weyes Blood sings about beautifully.
Check out the song "Cardamom," and let her vocals take you somewhere special.
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.