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 an R&B jam from WAJU with AIYA, an indie folk tune from Gabrielle Marlena, the latest from electro avant-pop duo TMBOY, and the return of avant-pop-rock sister duo The New Tarot.
* If you’re looking for a cool R&B jam to add to your summer playlist, NYC-based R&B artist WAJU has teamed up with Dutch artist AIYA for a perfect chilled out song titled “Don’t Rush.”
Although his sound is rooted in R&B and hip-hop, WAJU counts artists such as Tracy Chapman, Florence + The Machine, and Maggie Rogers as influences. “I understand sonically my music doesn't sound like any of those artists,” he explains, “but from a writing perspective, and feeling aspect, I want my records to resemble a similar feeling. I want there to be an emotional, and moody, feeling with my records.”
This, he notes, also plays a role in who he decides to work with, as he says, “The artists I decide to collaborate with strike an emotion that makes me feel good.”
WAJU’s collaboration with AIYA is sure to make any fan of R&B feel good, so click play and give “Don’t Rush” a spin.
* Brooklyn-based indie folk artist Gabrielle Marlena spent a lot of time behind the wheel last year, traveling 13,000 miles on her own to play 25 shows in 21 different states over 36 days. It was during this time that she started writing the songs that would make up her new EP, Easier Love, which she released last month.
While Marlena’s eyes were on the road – she estimates she was driving, on average, six hours per day – her mind was a hotbed of creativity. “I was making phone calls to pass the time to friends, past flings, mostly my mom,” she says, “but between the phone calls was when the best lyrics came to me.”
Check out the video for the title track of the EP, and hear how Marlena’s travels resulted in some great music.
* Sometimes we can plant a seed in our mind about a person. It can be an assumption, or it can be a desire we wish were true regardless of the facts of the situation. Brooklyn-based electro avant-pop duo TMBOY know all about this, and it’s part of the basis for their latest single, “Seed.”
TMBOY’s Sarah Aument – who is one half of the band along with Will Shore – explains, “‘Seed' is in part a love song, but it's also about becoming totally consumed by something that isn't real. Most of my initial romantic experiences as a queer person were ones where I made up that the other person was gay and had romantic feelings for me. I wanted so badly for my feelings to be reciprocated that I started to see signs of their ‘attraction’ for me where there was none. But the song is also about romantic experiences I've had later in life, where I've wanted people simply because the initial lust and attraction feels so good. I was using it as a distraction, an escape from other things in my life. I think I wrote this song when I was finally starting to realize what I was doing and how it was hurting myself and others.”
TMBOY are currently putting the final touches on a full length album, and you can check out “Seed” right here.
* Longtime column favorites The New Tarot have returned with a new single titled “The Skinny,” which is the first track off the avant-pop-rock sister duo’s upcoming full length album, The Book of Promises, due out this October.
According to The New Tarot’s Monika Walker, the idea for the theme, and imagery, of the album came to her in her sleep, and her sister Karen knew it's what they had to create.
Monika explains the unique video for the album’s lead single, saying, “This video is our first visual introduction to The Book of Promises, and our album's hero – the reincarnation of 15th century mathematician, and occultist visionary, John Dee. Clearing out his mother's house after her death, John remembers a book she had warned him about. He finds it in a box in her basement. Inside the book are instructions for summoning an angel. He follows them, and finds himself transported to a realm between worlds.”
Click play and enter the world of The New Tarot. We make no guarantees that you’ll be able to leave that world … or that you’ll want to return to your own.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.