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 Birch covering the Pixies, something "Crazy" from Annika Zee, a cross country collaborative effort from Agallah the Don Bishop, and DUST's interpretation of what happens when alien life meets Brooklyn's rave scene.
* Birch, the indie-pop project of Michelle Birsky, has become a bit of a column favorite this year, and their latest is a very cool cover of a Pixies classic that has Birsky wondering "Where Is My Mind?"
The NYC-based singer explains the unique angle she, and her band, took when approaching the cover, saying, "We repurpose it through the lens of a coming of age story set in New York City. I wanted the song, and video, to reflect what it's like to find yourself in New York, and the feelings of isolation and coldness that often ensue in a congested city."
Birsky continued, adding, "This song/video is about finding yourself, your people, and, for me, my band."
Check it out for yourself, and if you like it, head on over to Birch's Soundcloud page, where you can download the song for free.
* "It's not so easy bring normal" is the opening line of Annika Zee's debut single, "Crazy," and as the strum of her guitar echoes throughout the track, she transports you to another mind-state altogether.
"Crazy" is off of Zee's upcoming EP, Aging Aesthetics. The lyrical content of the song is a lament regarding how difficult it is to expressing sincere feelings in a digital age without people thinking you're out of your mind.
Zee plays all of the instruments on Aging Aesthetics, except for the piano, which she composed the music for. She also created all of the visual art for the music.
Click play on the gorgeous "Crazy," and fit yourself for a musical straight jacket.
* Agallah the Don Bishop has always provided some of the most raw, authentic, New York City hip-hop around. With his latest project, an EP titled Flight of the Cranes, he's still 100% NYC, but in an interesting twist, the beats were all done by Los Angeles production duo DirtyDiggs.
The latest single off of Flight of the Cranes is "My Mind," and it shows that NYC and LA can not only work well together, they can create something pretty fantastic.
Check out the video for "My Mind," and hear why Agallah's incredible lyricism, and passionate delivery, have made him a longtime favorite in the city's indie hip-hop scene.
* Brooklyn trio DUST are billed as a "fantasy techno collective," and that fantasy, that techno, and that collective, are on full display on their new single "Breeding Pit."
Comprised of audio engineer Michael Sherburn, DIY nightlife entrepreneur John Barclay, and multi-disciplinary artist Greem Jellyfsh, the trio are all well-known members of Brooklyn's DIY rave community. As DUST, they’ll be releasing their debut album, Agony Planet, on January 22nd.
According to their press release, the 13 track album is "held together by a theme of extravagant extraterrestrial warfare."
Click play on "Breeding Pit," and see what ends up born in your mind (FYI, it takes about 15 seconds before the song really kicks in).
The NYC Scene Report will be taking a much deserved break next week, and will return in two weeks with a HUGE best-of-2015 edition that will be one part retrospective, one part award show. If you need more NYC indie music before then, head on over to the archives and check out some 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.