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 Victoria Reed's current take on 90s alt-rock, Brooklyn rockers Washer dining on the sun, some jazz inspired hip-hop from Soul Inscribed, and the singer-songwriter stylings of Sean McVerry.
* Even for a seasoned pro like myself, describing an artist's sound can occasionally be a challenge. When I first heard Brooklyn, by way of Detroit, singer-songwriter Victoria Reed, the challenge was that her sound is simultaneously familiar and fresh, and how does one describe something that is both retro and new? My answer was to leave it up to the artist, as Reed describes her music as a current take on 90s alt-rock, with a country lean. Sound interesting? It is!
Her debut album, Chariot, is due out February 26th, and for a taste of what she has to offer, check out the single "Nothing to Lose." I think you'll find that not only do you have nothing to lose, there’s plenty to potentially gain, as Reed may end up in your personal playlist.
* People do a lot of random things when they’re drunk, but Washer may have topped every drunken escapade imaginable, as the Brooklyn rockers' latest single makes the claim that they "Got Drunk And Ate The Sun."
I have to think that was a pretty warm meal, probably akin to the fajitas at a TGI Fridays, but hey, when your band has the kind of buzz that the Washer duo of Mike Quigley and Kieran McShane have, why would you ever consider cooling down?
"Got Drunk And Ate The Sun" is off of Washer's just released full length debut, Here Comes Washer, and you can check it out right here.
* Jazz and hip-hop both embrace improvisation. From Free Jazz, to freestyle emceeing, the ability to create music on the fly is an important aspect of each genre. What do you get when you combine Free Jazz and freestyle emceeing? You get NYC's Soul Inscribed.
Consisting over MC/Producer Baba Israel, vocalist Duv, saxophonist/flutist Sean Nowell, and multi-instrumentalist Yako 440, Soul Inscribed have traveled the world performing incredible shows where listeners are treated something completely original every single time. With the foursome’s upcoming eponymous debut album, the group is taking that vibe, which Israel describes as, "Capturing the soul of music, and inscribing it on record, online, and on stage," and bringing it into listeners' homes.
Soul Inscribed is due out February 5th, and you can catch a sneak peak right here.
* “I strive to create simple material with incredible depth,” singer-songwriter Sean McVerry says of his music. “I’ve always been fascinated by the way artists like Paul Simon and Brian Wilson are able to convey an emotion without ever actually verbalizing what that emotion is.”
McVerry, who now hails from Brooklyn, but grew up in Connecticut, has been working with that concept for years, and now has his artistic vision on full display with his just released debut EP, Hourglass Switchboard I. The EP, which will be followed up later in the year by Hourglass Switchboard II, was co-produced by Elite, whose previous work includes working on J. Cole's Born Sinner.
The first single off of Hourglass Switchboard I is "Kerosene." Click play, and let it light up your day.
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.