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 some “Simple Love” from indie rockers The Dig, a portrait filled clip from alternative folk duo BONOMO, multicultural hip-hop from Bohan Phoenix, and indie pop from Retail Space.
* NYC-based indie rockers The Dig released their latest album, Bloodshot Tokyo, earlier this month, and according to the band it’s the result of a new ideology in songwriting for the group.
Guitarist/keyboardist Erick Eiser explains, “In the past I think we’ve tried to create a mindset of writing ‘for The Dig’ so as to create something cohesive. This time I think we really freed ourselves from that, and just wrote.”
Singer/bassist Emile Mosseri adds, “We all grew up playing in different bands together since we were little kids, and have toured with, and were inspired by, all kinds of different bands for years. We did all this together, and I feel like writing this record was the sum of all those years. It’s the most wide spanning, stylistically, and colorful, of our records, and also sounds the most like us.”
Check out The Dig’s video for “Simple Love” to hear the band’s colorful indie rock sound.
* Sometimes the most authentic beauty can be found in simplicity. Take, for example, alternative folk duo BONOMO’s video for their single “Water.”
The clip was conceived, and shot, by photographer Marian Sell, and consists of a series of black and white video portraits of over 150 different NYC residents.
The video is the latest in a series of impressive accomplishments for BONOMO, who are still relatively new on the scene, having formed in 2015. Since their inception they’ve earned first place at the CASC songwriting competition, placed in the top five at the Indie International Songwriting Competition, and performed at Lincoln Center.
BONOMO’s debut album, Phases, was released just last week. Dive into “Water,” and enjoy life in the deep end with this talented duo.
* Hailing from straight outta China, but now residing in Brooklyn, is hip-hop artist Bohan Phoenix.
Having immigrated to the US at the age of 11 without being able to speak a word of English, Bohan learned the language, in part, by rapping along to every hip-hop song he listened to.
Now pursuing his own hip-hop career both in the US, and China, Bohan released his latest EP, JALA, earlier this year.
Bohan explains the EP, and the concept behind the project, saying, “I am trying to export my Eastern culture to the West, just as I was ‘exported’ here years ago. I believe that the exporting and exchanging of culture will be the key to a better future, because it opens up a lane for communication outside of politics. With (the) JALA EP, that’s exactly what I wanted to do – open communication. That’s why, unlike my previous project, FOREIGN, JALA is no longer just Asian producers. I’m intentionally mixing Western and Eastern producers, sounds, languages, slang, motifs and foods ... everything you can think of! To me, this is what the future looks like.”
This also might very well be what the future of hip-hop sounds like. Check out the video for the title track of JALA, and hear for yourself.
* Earlier this month, Brooklyn-based indie-pop duo Retail Space released their amazingly titled sophomore album, You Can Catch A Lobster With Eggs But Not Egg Salad, the latest single off of which is “Tide Tables.”
The band’s Isabelle Burnet explains the inspiration she and Jacob Rosse had for the song, saying, "We wrote this song a couple months after we had quit our jobs to pursue Retail Space. During that time everyone we knew kept questioning what we were doing, how we were going to do it, how we were going to make money from it, etc. We didn’t have any answers for them. We weren’t exactly sure of the plan ourselves, but we knew we couldn’t work our old jobs any longer, so many of the lyrics draw upon those experiences.”
Give the song a spin, as this is one “Tide” where you’re going to love catching the waves.
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.