Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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This week’s NYC Scene Report features the indie pop of Birch, something slightly downtempo from Obey City, some dope hip-hop from Creature, and the melodic indie rock of Sun Cut Flat.
* Brooklyn based band Birch is a modern indie pop group with a bit of an old school feel, and when I say old school, I mean classic 60s radio.
The project of singer/songwriter Michelle Birsky, Birch's debut is the song "Halfway," and it's quite an impressive introduction. The song was written in August of 2014, when Birsky spent two weeks by herself at her parent's house in Vermont, which is where she had spent the majority of her childhood. Lyrically, “Halfway” is about the places your mind goes when left alone for extended periods of time, like she was in the house on this particular trip.
"Halfway" is the title track of Birch's debut EP, which will be available on August 28th. For now, check out the stunning video for the song, and hear what revisiting a piece of her past inspired.
* Earlier this year, Brooklyn producer/songwriter Obey City released his latest EP, Merlot Sounds. I have to be honest, I've never tried to listen to a bottle of Merlot, but if it sounds anything like the new single off of the EP, which is "Airy" featuring Kelela, I'm going to start putting my ear to more glasses of wine.
Obey City’s electronic music production, and Kelela's beautiful vocals, work to create an undeniably cool vibe. Musically, the song has the feel of a slightly amped up version of downtempo soul, but with a bit of an 80s synth pop twist.
The video for "Airy," which was directed by Melissa Matos of the creative studio Trusst, features a collection of vignettes that are intended to match the song in tone, and emotion. Give it a look, and a listen. In fact, give it multiple looks and listens, as the song, and video, only get better with repeated plays.
* "What kind of rapper wears purple socks and Crocs?" It's a valid question, and one NYC indie hip-hop stalwart Creature asks on his latest single, "Warhol's Wig," which also features Kool A.D., and was produced by Preservation.
"Warhol's Wig" is a fun track off of Creature's recently released EP, Torn Together. It's also pure NY hip-hop. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who represents NY hip-hop more than Creature. A fixture in the scene for over a decade, Creature has been seen at more shows than some of your hardest working security people, and bartenders.
Check out "Warhol's Wig" and hear why Creature hasn’t just survived in NYC's crowded hip-hop scene, but has etched a name for himself in its history books.
* If you're into melodic indie rock, let Brooklyn's Sun Cut Flat be your GPS as they help you "Navigate" that musical terrain.
The collaborative project of Nick Lattanzi and Erik Kramer, who met in Boston while in college, Sun Cut Flat has begun to make a name for themselves in NYC's indie music scene, having released their full length debut, Copy Machine Dream, in 2014, and an EP, colorfully titled EP 01, earlier this year.
The band's latest is the single "Navigate," which is a laid back cut featuring deeply personal lyrics. As they sing, "I'll only be fulfilled when I'm making you proud," one can't help but think that everyone has at least one person in their life they feel this way about. Check out the song, and get to know Sun Cut Flat.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.