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 Shilpa Ray giving us something to rock out to, singer-songwriter May Cheung making a “Departure,” indie folk-rock from 5j Barrow, and a little bit of country from Kate Van Dorn.
* Shilpa Ray’s story is a very cool one. She’s gone from being the door girl at Pianos – one of NYC’s hottest indie music venues, and a personal favorite spot for new artist discovery – to headlining back to back nights there for her own album release shows.
Her album, Door Girl, was released last month, and it's pure rock n roll goodness. With classic rock influences, and Shilpa’s powerful, and perfectly rough around the edges, vocals, the album is filled with stories of modern NYC nightlife, all of which she’s seen over the years both as a musician, and as someone who’s worked at a music venue.
Whether you’re a frequent concert goer in NYC, or you simply want to catch that vibe, Door Girl should be on your must-listen list. Check out “Morning Terrors Nights of Dread” to get a taste.
* Brooklyn, by way of Vancouver, singer-songwriter May Cheung released her debut album, The Departure, last week, and now she's about to depart on a tour that will see her on the road from October 8th through the 21st.
Before hitting the road, Cheung released a video for the title track of The Departure, and it's as serene, and gorgeously old school, as the song.
Made to look like a classic film reel, the clip features Cheung in a variety of deserted, yet beautiful paces, as the soundtrack expresses a tranquility through the solitude. Check it out.
* There’s something perfectly NYC about the origin story of 5j Barrow. Founded and fronted by two singer-songwriters who are also Broadway actors – Eryn Murman and Jason Hite – the duo named their group after the Greenwich Village apartment where they first felt inspiration hit – apartment 5j on Barrow Street.
That inspiration has manifested itself in a new EP, The Journey: Vol. 1, which is due out October 6th, and will feature the band's trademark indie folk-rock sound.
Check out this live clip of their latest single, “On The Edge of My Seat,” to hear the result of their apartment 5j inspirations. As a bonus, the clip was filmed at one of my longtime favorite LES haunts – The Bowery Electric!
* Having done my undergrad work at Hofstra University, I’m not saying Long island is the last place you'd expect to hear country music, but it certainly isn’t high on the list of hot spots for cowboy boots, and slag that includes the word “y’all.” That said, Long Island, surprisingly, has an up and coming country star in the making in Kate Van Dorn.
Van Dorn began playing in hometown bars at the ripe old age of 17, and a few years later was discovered while busking at a nearby airport. Her musical resume now includes opening for Thomas Rhett, and she’s currently in the midst of a bevy of local solo dates, performing around Long Island through the end of the month.
What does Long Island country sound like? Give Kate Van Dorn's “Stay” a listen to find out.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.