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 debut track from industrial synth pop artist Lye Marlow, a post-breakup R&B jam from Loveskills, a first listen of indie pop supergroup Blush, and the NYC stories of indie pop-rock artist The Make Pretend.
* I’m a sucker for an artist with a unique sound, and with a mixture of industrial synth pop, and downtempo, as well as a background that includes being a classically trained cellist, Lye Marlow hits the uniqueness bullseye with her debut single, “Headlights.”
Marlow explains the inspiration for the song, saying, “I wrote ‘Headlights’ when I was allowing someone else’s behavior to make me feel like I wasn’t enough. The song is about challenging that inclination, and asserting that anyone who doesn’t see your light is missing the point. ‘Headlights’ is an anthem of self-empowerment, and a stance against anyone who would denigrate your character under the glare of their assumptions.”
Click play on “Headlights,” and get inspired by Lye Marlow.
* Longtime column favorite Loveskills is back with an R&B jam titled “What About Us.” Laced with a funky piano, the song features a message anyone who’s ever had a bad breakup can related to.
As Loveskills sings the lyrics, “Don’t wanna be friends,” and, “Don’t wanna make amends,” all of us have at least one person from our past who comes to mind.
When I asked Loveskills about the song, he said, “I've been told that it's an online dating anthem, but I'd rather leave it up the listener.”
Click play on “What About Us,” and decide what it means to you.
* Oftentimes in the indie scene, a new group arises out of the ashes of one that disbanded. This is the case with Blush, which is the project of Darlings’ Maura Lynch.
She explains the band’s origin story, saying after Darlings’ final show in 2015, “I turned to a cache of bedroom demos I had been recording sporadically under the name Blush — something I honestly came up with just as a way to organize them on my computer. Inspired by my love of straightforward pop songs, simple guitar playing, and layered vocals, the Blush demos became a diary of sorts of my late 20s – songs about loving people who didn’t deserve it, songs about loving people who did, making sense of the monotony of an office job, and finding my own steadier footing along the way. Last year, I felt ready to finally record them for real.”
Lynch then reached out to her friends Jon and Nick Campolo of PILL, and Andy Chugg of Pop. 1280, to complete the Blush lineup, and in the process, form an NYC indie music super group.
Blush’s self-titled debut album is due out December 8th on Arrowhawk Records, and you can check out the lead single, “Daisy Chain,” right here.
* The Make Pretend – which is the performance name of NYC indie pop-rock artist Jason Verlaine – has experienced some very real adventures in his life, and he wants to tell you all about them.
Originally from western Massachusetts, he made his way to NYC in 2002, equipped with an insatiable lust for life. According to his bio, he was “in pursuit of everything … and lots of it. From late nights dancing with men dressed as unicorns at the Boiler Room, to afternoon tea in the Plaza Hotel.”
With a bevy of stories to tell, Verlaine has decided to start telling them through his music, releasing his debut album, Fortune Factory, last month.
The album is a collection of his NYC experiences, and you can check out the video for the lead single, “Sorry I Let You Down,” 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.