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 rockers LTrain launching a PledgeMusic campaign, a new, electronic sound for singer-songwriter Birch, retro pop act The Shacks picking some “Orchids,” and a free EP from hip-hop artist JohnNY U.
* LTrain is an NYC-based rock band that I discovered at the beginning of 2016, but believe me when I tell you they aren’t newbies to the scene. I’m willing to admit I was a little late to the party, as LTrain formed in 2011, and have plenty of experience rocking both stages, and subway stations. Now they’re looking rock the internet, as they’ve launched a PledgeMusic campaign to raise funds for their upcoming album, Viral Spiral.
The band says of the album, “We’ve spent the last two years writing and performing our record Viral Spiral. Though we still talk about many common themes about living in NYC, as we did on our EP, Can’t Pay Bills, with this album Crystalla (Vocals) also wrote about stories that we have all personally gone through.”
While the actual L train will be shut down for construction soon, NYC can count on THIS LTrain to be running for the foreseeable future. Check out their cover of Nirvana’s “School,” and consider pledging to support LTrain’s campaign.
* Indie singer-songwriter Birch has been featured here quite a bit over the past few years, and with her latest single, “Human,” she’s shaking things up musically.
Featuring a more electronic sound, Birch says of “Human,” “‘Human’ is a song about the ways in which we are all one, though in such politically and socially tumultuous times it's so easy to forget. It is a moment of clarity in a chaotic world.”
“Human” will be on Birch’s upcoming EP, Not Human, but you can hear it first here.
* With whispered vocals, and an old school feel, The Shacks latest single, “Orchids,” continues the retro-indie pop band’s trend of bridging the gap between your favorite oldies radio station, and your favorite hole-in-the-wall indie music venue.
The video for “Orchids” is a sight to behold, and while I won’t ruin any of it for you, The Shacks Shannon Wise notes she had one scary moment while filming the clip, and it involved the band’s producer, Leon Michels’, baby. “I was really nervous to hold Leon's baby because I hadn't held one before,” she said in a statement. “It started crying when we were filming the scene in the tree and I felt bad because I thought it was my fault!”
“Orchids” is off of The Shacks just released eponymous debut EP, and you can check out the video for the song right here.
* If you’re searching for some hot new hip-hop straight outta NYC, look no further than #4dafree, the recently released free EP by O.I.S.D. emcee JohnNY U.
A four track EP where each track starts with the “4da” concept – “4daMind,” “4da$afe,” “4daGreat,” and “4daCulture” – #4dafree is just under 12 minutes of great hip-hop from one of the city’s veteran artists.
When sharing the link on social media, producer El Nine wrote, “I produced track two, but F#@k that. Listen to this because it is HEALing, because it was made with YOU in MIND, because it is LOVE! And it SLAP!!!”
What more could I possibly add to that? Give #4dafree a spin!
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.