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 latest from rock trio The Worst Humans, the rebirth of alt-pop act ASTR, indie rockers Sunflower Bean coming of age, and The Men giving listeners some hard rock with an old school feel to it.
* I’ve heard from reliable sources that Brooklyn-based rock trio The Worst Humans are not, in fact, the worst humans. I can also tell you that after just one listen to The Worst Humans you’ll know they’re a damned good band.
The trio’s latest single is “We’re on Drugs,” the inspiration for which came from frontman Ian Holubiak’s revelations from living in NYC for nearly a decade.
“I constantly talk to people who are prescribed anti-depressants and the like,” he explained in a statement, “and, I too have been prescribed medication to combat mental illness, but the community at large demonizes users, not only those who take prescription medication for one reason or another, but those who use illicit drugs, too. We need not put blame on users, nor do we need to judge someone’s character because they use.”
With a sound that’s equal parts modern rock, ‘90s alt-rock, and grunge, “We’re on Drugs” is sure to get rock fans high.
* Longtime readers of this site will recognize the name ASTR, as I’ve featured the alt-pop act here a number of times over the years, including an in-depth interview back in 2014. Well, A LOT has changed for ASTR since then, the biggest change being that ASTR is now a solo act.
Another change has been in ASTR’s sound, as evidenced by the new singles “Ritual” and “In Your Eyes.” In a statement, ASTR explained the inspiration for the former, saying, “We acquire programs for how we operate within the world through our environments and circumstances. These programs expire with our coming of age, and we must rewrite the system. ‘Ritual’ is about the burning desire to go beyond the surface and explore what we have accepted as true within a domesticized culture. There is a pool of potential energy on the other side when we spark our exploration.”
There’s no telling what’s next for ASTR – she openly says, “Our only constant is change and the moment we become fixed in nature our evolution stops. Nature is fluid, and so is ASTR” – but for now we can all enjoy her “Ritual.”
* NYC’s indie rock scene has been buzzing with anticipation for Sunflower Bean’s sophomore album, Twentytwo in Blue, which is due out this Friday. The release date celebrates all three members of the band being 22, and comes nearly two years and two months after their debut effort.
The band recently released the single “Twentytwo,” the video for which was produced with Urban Outfitters, and features clothing from the store.
The video’s director, Olivia Bee, explained the concept for the clip in a statement, saying, “I loved metaphorically speaking about the reality of being a woman, but letting that reality exist whilst tapping into the magical blues of Twentytwo in Blue. This song showcases our strengths, and individual beauties, when we remove the masks that have been given to us by our society, and I wanted the video to reflect that.”
If you want to rock out with Sunflower Bean, you’re in luck, as the band will be on tour through July 1st. That’s not a typo, Sunflower Bean are road warriors! So check out the video for the gorgeous “Twentytwo,” and then check them out live when they hit your town.
* NYC-based hard rockers The Men released their seventh full length album, Drift, earlier this month, and the latest single off of it is a fast paced, fuzzed-out, gem with a terrifying title – “Killed Someone.”
The song almost sounds like it’s from another era, and there’s a good reason for that – the entire album was recorded to 2’’ tape. When you go old school, you get an old school sound, and if you like an old school sound, you’re gonna love “Killed Someone.”
Check it out and hear why The Men have been around for a decade, and will hopefully be around for at least another decade to come.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.