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 90s alt-rock inspired sound of Washer, something psychedelic from J Hacha De Zola, indie pop goodness from Wild Nothing, and some classic 8thW1 and Fresh Daily songs finally seeing the light of day.
* "Can you figure me out," Washer vocalist Mike Quigley apathetically queries at the beginning of the Brooklyn duo's new single, appropriately titled “Figure Me Out.”
The song is the first taste of Washer's upcoming album, Here Comes Washer, which is due out on January 22nd via Exploding In Sound Records, and it will undoubtedly appeal to fans of the mid-to-late 90s alt-rock scene, as it would have fit in perfectly amongst acts like The Toadies, and Lit.
Give it a spin, and hear Quigley, and Washer bandmate Kieran McShane, bring some 90s goodness to the current rock scene.
* Staying with the theme of new artists with a classic feel, New Jersey native J Hacha De Zola, who I originally featured here a few months ago, has a brand new single, and it's going to take you back to the psychedelic 60s.
The song, titled, "Strange," is off of his soon to be released album, Escape From Fat Kat City, and it features a distinct Doors influence, as Hacha De Zola almost sounds as if he's a visitor from another era of music.
He says of the content of the song, which has an accompanying, wildly creative, music video, “Our protagonist has a hard time discerning reality from dream, truth from delusion. This is what it is be ‘strange.”
Check out the video for "Strange," because everyone knows strange is better than normal.
* Moving to another artist who has a vibe from a previous decade, we have Brooklyn-based indie pop-rock artist Wild Nothing, who is set to release his third studio album, Life of Pause, on February 19th.
Wild Nothing recently teased the album with a video featuring two new songs, "To Know You," and "TV Queen," and the sound of the new music is that of modern indie pop with a slight 80s vibe.
In a statement, Wild Nothing said of his latest work, "I desperately wanted for this to be the kind of record that would displace me. I'm terrified by the idea of being any one thing, or being of any one genre, and whether or not I accomplish that, I know that my only hope of getting there is to constantly reinvent. That reinvention doesn't need to be drastic, but every new record has to have it's own identity, and it has to have a separate set of goals from what came before."
Give "To Know You" and "TV Queen" a listen, and hear Wild Nothing's latest musical reinvention.
* You know the old saying "absence makes the music grow doper?" OK, so maybe that's my own play on an old saying, but in the case of 8thW1 and Fresh Daily, a break has led to a breakthrough.
The duo have been working together since the early 2000s, playing a large role in the old Knitting Factory's hip-hop scene. What many didn't know (myself included) is that the two were recording songs together under the name Charlie Brown's Field Goal. The name reportedly coming from the duo's wish for a win for the underdog.
As 8thW1 and Fresh Daily began to pursue solo careers, as well as a larger crew endeavor, the AOK Collective, with Homeboy Sandman, P.SO, and 2 Hungry Bros., and also worked on a few non-musical ventures, Charlie Brown's Field Goal ended up on the back burner.
This past week they moved it to the front burner, and finally released a Charlie Brown's Field Goal album, titled Oh, It's Lit!. Some of the songs will be familiar to folks who've seen the dynamic duo live over the years, while others are never-before-heard gems. Check out the album in full below. I promise there's no Lucy here to swipe it from you as soon as you get into it.
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.