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 debut of NYC rockers The Manimals, something smooth from R&B artist BOYSLASHFRIEND, a heart wrenching video from singer-songwriter Troy, and the punk rock singer-songwriter stylings of Brogues.
* If you've ever wanted to combine your loves of rock n roll, and fantasy novels, The Manimals have released a concept EP that is right up your alley. Titled SEVEN, the project is inspired by George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, with each song focusing on a different character’s point of view.
The lead single off of SEVEN is "Talk," the video for which was filmed in the band's favorite graffiti covered LES dive, Clockwork, and features their drummer showing up in costume, which no one in the band expected. It's a raucous song, and an equally raucous party, that makes me want to see The Manimals live.
* Smoothing things out for a bit is NYC R&B artist BOYSLASHFRIEND, who recently returned from his first national tour, which he co-headlined with MeLo X. Now that he's back, he's released a video for the title track of his latest album, Low Key.
BOYSLASHFRIEND describes his music as having "a heavy heart for 90s R&B," and "Low Key" is a song that certainly would have fit in perfectly in that era, and will appeal to anyone who never stopped loving that style of music. With the video now out, BOYSLASHFRIEND plans on spending the summer releasing a series of remixes of "Low Key," and wrapping up his sophomore effort, which he's working on with producer MNTN. Rest assured, when it drops, I won't be low key about its release.
* Occasionally a song, or music video, truly tugs at your heartstrings. This is the case with singer-songwriter Troy's latest, "Song Man." "Songs can mean a million things to a million people," Troy says of "Song Man," "but to me, this song is about navigating the ups and downs of life and love, and making decisions in those arenas based on the advice of a lost loved one."
The song has racked up over half a million plays on Spotify thanks to being included in their "Evening Chill" playlist, and now "Song Man" has a video that will undoubtedly affect you. The clip is set in a sparsely filled bar, and features an elderly man dancing with the ghost of his wife, while Troy provides the soundtrack. As the scene switches between us seeing the wife, and seeing the reality of the situation, the video becomes a legit tear jerker, as the man looks lost without with his love.
* The ascendance of punk rock singer-songwriters makes perfect sense, as both punk rock, and singer-songwriters, deal with heavy emotions. One major difference between the two is how they express those emotions, one being loud, and the other being soft. When combined, the result is something that is equal parts intense and melodic. Take, for example, NYC's Brogues, the latest musical endeavor of guitarist/songwriter Shawn Gardiner.
Featuring ex-members of Morning Glory, Brogues just released their debut album, Heart and Song, last week. The lead single off of Heart and Song is "Heartbeat RPM," which features the kind of emotional output you expect from a punk rock frontman, while still keeping in the singer-songwriter style of the lyrics being front and center. If you like what Frank Turner has been giving us as a solo artist, Brogues is a band you're going to want to add to your personal playlist.
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.