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 funky soul from Corina Corina, indie band Handsome Ghost going acoustic, a heartfelt tribute from indie rocker J Hacha de Zola, and two new jams from the ever-soulful Nat Osborn Band.
* A few months ago I saw Corina Corina perform in the city, and she debuted a bunch of songs off of her upcoming, Willie Green produced, album, Hangover Music. While there’s still no official release date for the album, the single “BAR$” is now available to stream, and it’s a disco-tinged, funky gem.
The Brooklyn, by way of Oakland, hip-hop soul artist always dives deep into her emotions, and life, with her music, and on “BAR$” she opens up about slangin’ drinks while supporting her music career, and attempting to have a social/love life.
Corina Corina really knocks it out of the park with this one. Give “BAR$” a spin, and get hyped for Hangover Music.
* If you’re a ghost hunter you’ll be pleased to know you’ll be able to catch indie band Handsome Ghost on tour through March 3rd.
The tour is in support of the band’s first full length album, Welcome Back, which is available now.
In a statement, Handsome Ghost’s Timothy Noyes said of the band’s creative process, “When Handsome Ghost was in the very, very beginning stages of becoming a band, every song started with me and a guitar, and we’d go from there. For this first record of ours, we got back to that initial frame of mind where the song itself drives the arrangement and production. Lyrics and the melody are most important; everything else plays a supporting role.”
Noyes’ NYC connection is an interesting one, as he used to be a teacher in The Bronx, but put his teaching career on hold, deciding to pursue music full time. Check out Handsome Ghost’s acoustic performance of “Fool,” and hear why that decision was a good one for music fans.
* New Jersey-based artist J Hacha de Zola is a column favorite for his boundary shattering work, but recently he lost one of his musical mentors, Ralph Carney, who passed away at the age of 61.
On what would have been Carney’s 62nd birthday, Hacha de Zola posted a cover of a song made famous by Bobby Vinton, titled “My Special Angel.” Hacha de Zola’s version features Carney’s tenor saxophone and trumpet.
In a statement, Hacha de Zola reflected on the song, and Carney, saying, “I never thought this would be among the last things we would work on together. It is truly bittersweet for me, given the title, and Ralph’s untimely passing. His work will go on forever. Moving forward with my next record, I am truly at a loss as how to proceed without him. In a lot of ways, Ralph kind of led the way for a lot of band geeks in showing us that the horns can be more fun, free and wild. I am truly grateful to have worked with him and to have called him a friend.”
Hacha de Zola continued, adding, “Literally the last thing Ralph said to me was ‘Keep working on your bad self. Remember that it takes a long time to get there my friend. Love you, brother.’”
Click play on “My Special Angel” and hear the musical magic that came from their friendship.
* I’ve been a huge fan, and supporter, of soul artist Nat Osborn since first discovering his music back in 2012. The man, and his band, are true craftsmen when it comes to their work, and it shows in every recording, and live performance.
The one thing about true craftsmen, however, is that sometimes it means waiting a little while for something new, as perfection takes time. Thankfully, for those of us who love Nat Osborn Band, the wait is over, as they recently released two new songs, “Drifting” and “Roam.”
According to a statement, “‘Drifting’ and ‘Roam’ were songs that came together on the road. Nat wrote the initial ideas for them while touring with the band in the southern United States. Both songs came together largely while on tour in Europe, with the European rhythm section of Damian Niewinski (drums) and Mike Parker (bass) helping to shape the songs alongside guitarist Dustin Carlson.”
Osborn added, “‘Drifting’ is about the feeling of lost time, lost momentum, and loss of grace. ‘Roam’ is an autobiographical song about the tolls of a life on the road on a relationship. Both songs are about movement and time.”
Give “Drifting” and “Roam” a spin, and hear why new music from Nat Osborn Band is always worth the wait.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.