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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.
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NYC Scene Report – Born Cages, Lion Babe, & more
Wednesday, March 01, 2017

This week’s NYC Scene Report features the electro-rock of Born Cages, an R&B jam from Lion Babe, a soulful, jazzy tune from Natalie Cressman, and the cinematic synths of Nozart.

* NYC electro-rock trio Born Cages have a new single, and while the title of the song is “Half Asleep,” it’s a song that will wake you up to the band if you aren’t already a fan.

Interestingly, “Half Asleep” almost didn’t make the band’s upcoming EP, Exit Signs in a Burning Building. Born Cages’ Vlad Holiday explains, "This was by far the last song I wrote for the new record ... actually didn’t start writing it until we were in the studio mixing with Justin Gerrish. I posted a clip of the guitar riff part on my Instagram story and a few people wrote back to me saying, ‘Whoaa,’ so I thought, ‘Maybe I should turn this into something.’ I think I was feeding into the excitement that we were getting in the studio, and the chorus just became this big gospel-y moment of realization, from finally getting this album into the right direction after a year of reclusive writing."

Exit Signs in a Burning Building will be available on April 7th, but the band is giving listeners an opportunity to pre-order the EP in a variety of formats via a PledgeMusic campaign. So give “Half Awake” a spin, and then check out some of the perks the band is offering up.


* Lion Babe are easily one of my favorite R&B acts in NYC. Vocalist Jillian Hervey and producer Lucas Goodman, aka Astro Raw, always bring it with every song they release, their latest being “Rockets,” featuring Moe Moks.

“Rockets” will be featured on the duo’s as-of-yet unnamed upcoming EP, due out this spring.

All I know about the EP is that it’s reportedly going to be a mix of sultry, soulful, funky sounds, and knowing that, and loving Hervey’s vocals, I’m already all in. Take off on Lion Babe’s “Rockets” to hear why.


* Looking for something that’s equal parts soulful and jazzy? Then you should check out the latest from NYC’s Natalie Cressman.

Cressman will be releasing a new project, titled The Traces EP, on March 3rd, and while the title of the latest single from the EP is “Radio Silence,” it’s a song you’re definitely going to want to talk about.

With a history as a trombonist, Cressman has spent the past seven years touring the jam band circuit as a horn player and vocalist with Phish's Trey Anastasio, and even played with Phish at Madison Square Garden. For The Traces EP, however, she found inspiration in a new place – the music of Australian avant-soul quartet Hiatus Kaiyote.

“Hearing their music was an epiphany moment,” Cressman recalls. “They create music that’s layered and complex and appeals to a dance crowd. That’s not exactly what I’m doing, but hearing a live band with a lot of structure on the sonic side of things helped point the way as I’m trying to add this other layer to what I’m doing with my songwriting.”

Give “Radio Silence” a spin to hear the soulful, jazzy, sound Cressman came up with.


* Last year I raved about a Brooklyn-based artist named Gurus, and his dark, electro-synth-rock sound. When I listen to NYC’s Nozart, I get a similar vibe, and I really like it.

Nozart is a cinematic post-rock project led by Noah Kellman, who formerly toured as the keyboardist/synthesist for Elliot Moss' band when they opened for Cold War Kids.

According to Nozart’s bio, “The project focuses on combining the cinematic elements of film scores with more accessible pop forms.” After one listen to their latest single, “Puppet,” I’m sold. Give it a spin, and hear why.


For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.

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