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 awesome alt-pop from Soren Bryce, the soaring soul-pop vocals of Fiona Silver, Americana artist Butch Parnell covering a Beyonce song, and singer-songwriter Brooke Moriber dealing with some stormy weather.
* Brooklyn-based artist Soren Bryce is the latest addition to the city’s indie alt-pop scene, and with her new single, “Cellophane,” she’s making a heck of a first impression.
“Cellophane” is off of Bryce’s upcoming full length debut, Discussions With Myself, which is due out in early 2018. For the album, Bryce worked with producer Justyn Pilbrow (Halsey, The Knocks, The Neighbourhood), and while she notes Pilbrow took on a mentor-like role in honing her production skills, she handled the bulk of the album's pre-production work on her own.
Bryce explains the growth in her artistic process, saying, “I used to make music in a way that was more folk-influenced, where I'd sit in my bedroom, and play guitar, and write like I was writing in my diary, but for this record I got so much more into production, and started approaching the songs by thinking about things like rhythm, and composition, first, and then creating from there.”
Click play on the trippy video for “Cellophane,” and hear the alt-pop gem she’s created.
* Frequent readers of this column know that 2017 has been a year where I’ve become obsessed with the music of Fiona Silver. Her vocals are, in a word, special, and her name should be involved in any conversation about the city’s soul, pop, or indie rock scenes, as her music can fit into any of the above.
Silver’s latest is “Here Comes The Fall,” which, as of now, is a standalone single, following her fantastic 2017 album, Little Thunder.
Check out the gorgeous black and white video for “Here Comes The Fall,” which was directed by Cortney Armitage, and “Fall” for Fiona Silver.
* I know there may not have been a whole lot of folks clamoring for Americana covers of Beyonce’s music, but after hearing Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Butch Parnell’s version of her song “XO,” the demand might start to grow at a fairly rapid rate.
Parnell’s version of “XO” is off of his recently released EP, The Fall, and he explains how the song became one he wanted to put a unique spin on, saying, “In past releases, I've included at least one cover, and they have mostly been songs from the ‘70s. So for this EP, I thought I might do the opposite, and try to make a more current song live in a new light. It just so happens that I had shot my promo photos in Coney Island a week before I got the idea to do this song. The original Beyoncé ‘XO’ video was shot in Coney Island. It's colorful and vibrant, and that is precisely why I went in the opposite direction with the song, and the video. While the lyrics are very present in the moment, I wanted the music to evoke nostalgia.”
Parnell continued, adding, “Musically, the bridge for Beyoncé is the arrival, the top of the Cyclone roller coaster, if you will. I decided to make my bridge reflective, and pull everything away. It's not a roller coaster, it's more like the Wonder Wheel Ferris Wheel that stops at the top so you can take a moment to look around, and see things from a height, and vantage point, you normally can’t."
Check out the video for Parnell’s version of “XO,” and hear the song in an entirely new way.
* Singer-songwriter Brooke Moriber is giving listeners “99 Days of Rain.” No, she hasn’t become a meteorologist in the Seattle area. “99 Days of Rain” is the name of the NYC-based powerhouse vocalist’s latest single.
Off of her 2017 EP, Here and Gone, the song has a slight country influence, stemming, in part, from Moriber’s writing and recording sessions in Nashville with songwriters Brian Desveaux and Bill DiLuigi.
The video for “99 Days of Rain” features a shadow playing games with Moriber in an altercation that’s one part shadowboxing, one part interpretive dance. Click play and check out the creative clip.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.