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 feature the sultry pop vocals of SEE, a colorful clip from hip-hop artist LeVarsity, the debut of indie rock project Halycine, and a message about love from pop artist Gabrielle Ross.
* When I first heard SEE's single "Potions" I found it hard to believe she's only 20 years old. There's an experience, and a maturity, in her sultry pop vocals that belies her age. Perhaps this is because she's been involved in music a bit longer than most 20 year olds.
Self-taught on the drums, guitar, piano, and bass, SEE began writing original songs at the age of 15. At one point during her teenage years she was the primary songwriter, and drummer, of an alternative indie rock band on her native Long Island. At the age of 18 she decided to embark on a solo career, and just last month SEE released her debut EP, titled Ties.
In celebration of the release of her EP, SEE is currently in the midst of a month-long Thursday night residency at NYC hot spot Arlene's Grocery. With "Potions" as an introduction to her music, SEE is someone I'd like to see soon!
* When Brooklyn-based hip-hop artist LeVarsity grabs the mic, the musical history of his borough is always at the forefront of his mind. "Growing up in Brooklyn gave me a certain confidence about myself," he explains. "You can't be an artist from Brooklyn, and be wack."
With his latest single "#DCMS," which stands for "Don't Cramp My Style," LeVarsity isn’t in any danger of being accused of being wack. A fun track utilizing a famous Busta Rhymes line, the video for the song is a colorful, joy filled clip that has "feel good" written all over it.
Check it out, and try on this LeVarsity jacket (sorry, I had to make at least one varsity jacket reference).
* One really tough thing about loving indie music is that bands can oftentimes come and go at a rapid pace. Yesterday's favorite can be gone tomorrow. Throughout 2014 and 2015 I raved about NYC-based rockers Blue & Gold. I loved their album, and their live show. Sadly, Blue & Gold are no more, but rising from the ashes of the band is Halycine, the solo project of Blue & Gold's singer/guitarist Chloe Raynes, that also includes former band members GG Gonzalez, on drums, and Derek Cabrera, on bass.
The first Halycine release will be an EP titled In The Salt. A collection of five songs written and produced by Raynes, along with three videos she directed, In The Salt won’t be released in full until later this summer, but you can check out the lead single, "Circles," right here.
* "Love Is Love." It seems like a simple enough sentiment, but sometimes simplicity ends up being overshadowed by misguided beliefs. "Love Is Love" also happens to be the title of the latest single from NYC-based pop artist Gabrielle Ross.
In a statement, Ross said of her decision to release the single now, "I was going to wait for my EP release to share my song 'Love Is Love.' However, given all of the crises going on in this crazy world we live in, we all certainly need hope, and strength, now more than ever. Music is one of the only things we all have in common. It's the universal language that gets us through the most devastating times in life."
She added, "We all must stick together and support one another. Embrace each other's differences, because that is what makes life #beYOUtiful. How boring would it be if we were all the same? Great minds DON'T think alike."
If you need a little love, check out "Love Is Love."
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.