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 some "Magic" from indie pop duo Blind Benny, something "broken" from Parlour Tricks, a session in Birch's living room, and the column debut of "Early Riser" KYOSi.
* I first discovered NYC indie pop duo Blind Benny back in 2012, and with live shows that are an amazing good time, and songs that I keep on repeat, they’ve become one of my favorite bands in NYC. If you've frequented this site over the years, you've no doubt seen them featured here a number of times.
The dynamic duo were noticeably absent for a spell, but the good news is they were simply taking their time working on some "Magic."
"Magic" is Blind Benny's new single, and with its addictive hand claps, and Jade <3's amazing vocals, it follows in what has become a tradition of great Blind Benny songs.
Whether you already know and love Blind Benny, or you're just discovering them for the first time, click play and let them work their "Magic" on you. I promise it's not the "saw an assistant in half" kind.
* Parlour Tricks are another longtime column favorite, as I first wrote about them back in 2013. The band has ascended to incredible heights in NYC’s indie rock scene since then, packing some of the city's hottest venues. Their growth in popularity locally has coincided with a growth in their online presence, as the band makes some incredible music videos, the latest being for the title track of their standout 2015 album, Broken Hearts/Bones.
The clip features one of the most emotional supermarkets ever, as various folks let their love, loss, anger, and sadness take over. There's some fantastic in-aisle dancing, loving, raging, and consuming, and it all makes me wonder what would happen if "Broken Hearts/Bones" ever came on while I was doing my grocery shopping.
Check out the video, and let your emotions run wild.
* Brooklyn based band Birch, which is the project of singer-songwriter Michelle Birsky, is doing something very cool over on their YouTube page. Birsky's created a monthlong series she's calling the Living Room Sessions, and it involves her posting a new clip every Monday throughout the month February that's a live performance filmed in her living room (well, I'm assuming it's her living room. I mean, with a name like "Living Room Sessions" that doesn't seem like the craziest of assumptions. Of course, if it’s just any living room, and she wants to perform a song in my living room, I'd be perfectly happy to make the space).
The first installment of the Living Room Sessions was a performance of a new arrangement of the band's song "Carolyn," which was off of their 2015 EP Halfway. For this particular arrangement, Birsky's vocals are, at times, vaguely reminiscent of Natalie Merchant's, and as a fan of 10,000 Maniacs, I think that's pretty awesome.
Hang out in Birch's living room, and get to know "Carolyn."
* Soul-pop singer-songwriter KYOSi is a new name in the scene, and if the old axiom is true, and the early bird gets the worm, this "Early Riser" is well on her way to... well, the really good musical equivalent of worms. Yeah, I kinda lost the metaphor there, but I think you get the point, she's dope.
"Early Riser," which was written by KYSOi, who also co-produced the track with Richie Beretta, has a really nice spring/summertime vibe. It's the kind of song you could imagine cranking up with the windows down while cruising around on a beautiful day. In fact, there's a good chance this song will make you feel like you're in the midst of that beautiful day, even if you look outside and your current locale more closely resembles Hoth than a summertime paradise.
I'm really looking forward to hearing more from KYOSi. Check out "Early Riser" and hear why.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.