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 a slow jam from R&B singer Nao Yoshioka, an invitation to unwind with indie rockers Active Bird Community, a joyful indie pop song from The Rungs, and an ode to NYC’s “Hot Summer Nights” by singer-songwriter Rue Snider.
* NYC-based R&B songstress Nao Yoshioka will be seeing the U.S. release of her third album, titled The Truth, this Fall, the lead single off of which is the sultry, and soulful, “I Love When.”
While many R&B songs of this variety are inspired by an artist’s love life, in the case of “I Love When,” Nao was inspired by her parents.
“After my parents went through a painful, and tough, divorce, I became very guarded and skeptical of love,” she explained, “but eventually I witnessed true love prevailing when my parents rediscovered that special feeling that they could not deny and got remarried! This inspired me to write ‘I Love When.’”
Check out the song, which is reminiscent of the slow jams of the ‘90s, and will immediately put you in the mood.
* If you’re looking to unwind, Brooklyn-based indie rockers Active Bird Community have an open invitation for you in the form of their new song, “Unwind With Me.”
“Unwind With Me” is the lead single off the band’s upcoming album, Amends, which is due out September 14th via Barsuk Records.
Of the song, singer/guitarist Tom D’Agustino says, “I don’t think I realized until after the song was finished that it sort of felt like I was declaring bankruptcy on myself. It was finished during a pretty confusing time in my life – my relationship was ending, I had gotten sick with shingles, and it became clear that my life wasn’t going in the right direction, or any direction really. I felt like I could take back some control, and unravel everything, so I could get back to some sort of starting line. In doing so, I understood that even if tearing down and rebuilding hurts, it’s alright, because I’m moving forward, I’m willing a change.”
The video for “Unwind With Me” was filmed entirely in the back of a moving truck, and according to director Henry Kinder, “This choice created tight parameters within which we had to work, but it felt like the only way to achieve exactly what we wanted – to visually represent this state of unsettled displacement that we were both feeling at the time, and that we were hearing in the song.”
Check out the video, and unwind with Active Bird Community.
* I think we could all use a little more joyful indie pop in our lives. With that in mind, let Brooklyn-based indie pop trio The Rungs climb into your life, and your playlist, with their latest single, “Trees.”
“Trees” is the lead single off the band’s upcoming EP, Everyday Visions, which will be released on August 17th.
The band originally started as a music therapy project for frontwoman Mandy Gurung (vocals, songwriting, guitar, production), who is joined by her husband, Diwas Gurung (guitar, production, songwriting), and recent addition, drummer Steven Bartashev, who became a member of The Rungs during the recording process of Everyday Visions.
Click play on the video for “Trees,” and prepare for some feel-good vibes.
* Singer-songwriter Rue Snider has become a favorite here at the NYC Scene Report, and if you’ve listened to his music I’m pretty sure you can figure out why – he’s really great!
Snider’s latest is “Hot Summer Nights,” which is an ode to a previous time in his life, as he explains, “There used to be a bar on Avenue B called Boxcar Lounge that had a two for one happy hour on everything until 10PM. I would drop off my clothes at the laundromat on the next block and drink myself into a stupor waiting for it to be done. A lot of seedy stuff went on in those East Village bars. Nobody was shy. A person can get lost living like that. I'm glad it's behind me. But the party is part of the story that made me who I am, and that's what this song is about.”
“Hot Summer Nights” is off of Snider’s upcoming album, City Living, which is due out July 27th. An album release party is set for July 26th at Berlin, in NYC, and you can get wrapped up in Snider’s tales of the city’s “Hot Summer Nights” 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.