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 dark electro-pop of ASTR, a pop-rock tune from Mainland, a jazzy song from Ionie, and the new EP from pop singer-songwriter Stef Lang.
* I first wrote about NYC electro-pop duo ASTR way back at the beginning of 2014. Since then they have blown the f*ck up (I'm not taking credit for that, but you did read about them here first). The twosome of Zoe Anna and A.D.A.M. are currently on a tour with Ryn Weaver, and Holychild, that runs until Thanksgiving, and in addition to being on the road, they also just dropped a brand new single, titled "Bleeding Love."
"Bleeding Love" fits in perfectly with ASTR's overall musical theme, which Anna told me about last year, saying, “I think a lot of art comes from darkness, and you just feel a lot. When things are good all the time sometimes you don’t appreciate the depth, and the good, as much, so it’s a lot more feeling.”
Check out "Bleeding Love." If you aren't already into ASTR, you will be.
* Indie pop-rockers Mainland made a 3,000 mile journey to record their upcoming album, and that journey largely informed the trio's new single, "Outcast."
In a statement, Mainland's lead singer, Jordan Topf, explained, “I was walking around Rodeo Drive, estranged from NYC ... Maybe it was my current outlook on the struggles I was facing, but I was reflecting on moments where I'd felt like an outcast in life, and in a new city like Los Angeles. A city of sunshine, and broken Hollywood dreams.”
In addition to writing a heck of a song, Mainland also has a phenomenal video for "Outcast" that tells a story of three teen outcasts, and how not everything is as light and happy as it may seem. Check it out.
* With a combination of jazz, pop, and soul, Ionie makes a heck of a first impression with her debut single, "Give Me Your Eyes."
The song is off of the NYC, by way of San Francisco, singer's self-titled debut album, which was released earlier this year, and the storytelling video for the song was produced by Wild Obscura Films' Erica Rose. Rose says of the clip, and its connection with the song, “It conveys the plight that many young lovers must face, the endlessly complicated, dichotomous relationship between the private, verses the public. In private, a bond with someone can seem indestructible and carry through with careless, ineffable glee. Yet, in public, the same person can suddenly transform into someone impenetrable, reclusive, and distant.”
You should definitely give Ionie your eyes, and ears, for this one.
* Over the past six months pop singer-songwriter Stef Lang has been giving listeners a taste of her new music whenever she performs in the city. If you haven’t been able to make it to any of her shows, have no fear (although, seriously, you need to fix that!), Lang just released a new EP, titled ARROWS Pt. 1, and it has all the songs fans have been enjoying live.
What impresses me most about ARROWS Pt. 1 is how well it takes the live shows, which sometimes feature Lang banging on a drum for one song, and playing the guitar on the next, and translates it to the studio recording format. This is literally as close to the live Stef Lang experience one can get without actually being there. Give it a spin, and hear why I always make it a point to go whenever she has a show.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.