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 atmospheric New Wave of Scam Avenue, some magical indie rock from Pill, the singer-songwriter stylings of Allen Tate, and an electro-pop song from Von Sell.
* Scam Avenue (which is not to be confused with "Electric Avenue," which I once rocked down to) is a Brooklyn-based New Wave band that is equal parts retro and modern. Their latest single is "Sailor," and it features alternating male and female vocal leads over a beat that's filled with all the synth, and drum machine, goodness you could want in a New Wave song.
“Sailor” is also the title track off of the band's debut EP, which was released at the end of October. Check out the video for the song (unless you're sensitive to flashing lights), and stroll down an abandoned, graffiti covered, street with Scam Avenue. Hey, maybe that IS Scam Avenue! #PotentialRevelation
* I don't know how Pill came up with the idea for their video for "Dead Boys," but I really hope they were all just hanging out when someone in the band said, "Let's visit Houdini's grave," and the rest of them were like, "Sounds like a good idea for a video to me."
The clip is for the Brooklyn-based band's latest single from their album Convenience, which was released earlier this year. According to the foursome, the music of Convenience is based on the concepts of “physicality, catharsis, and psychic release."
"Dead Boys" proves that's a recipe for great indie rock.
* Some of you may recognize the name, and the voice, of Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Allen Tate from his time with the band San Fermin. Now venturing out on his own, Tate released his solo debut, Sleepwalker, this past month. The latest single off of the album is "Wrapped Up."
Tate says of "Wrapped Up," "My girlfriend and I were broken up for a few months while I was writing this record, and during that time, that feeling that a great thing might be gone was plaguing my thoughts. I’d written the guitar lick a few months earlier while I was in Copenhagen, but the lyrics and melody pretty much came out all in one lonely night writing at home in Brooklyn. 'Wrapped Up' is supposed to be both a reference to being wrapped up, as in over, or all done, and also to being wrapped up in the thoughts and feelings of missing someone. This is also where the album’s title, Sleepwalker was pulled from."
Sleepwalk with Tate, and check out "Wrapped Up."
* If I've learned anything from Mafia themed television shows and movies, it's that you should never name names. When it comes to indie electro-pop, however, you should definitely play "Names." "Names" being the latest single from Brooklyn's Von Sell.
Von Sell's story is a fascinating one. The son of an Israeli singer and German filmmaker, he was born in NYC, but his family moved to Hamburg, Germany when he was just two years old. Drawn to making pop music at an early age, he made his way back to the States to study at Berklee College of Music, eventually landing in Brooklyn in 2012.
"Names" is off of Von Sell's recently released self-titled EP, and you can check out the song right here.
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.