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 soul-pop of RÉN, the comeback of indie pop singer JAX, a tech-metal jam from Bangladeafy, and an R&B/pop song from newcomer Teddy Edwards.
* RÉN is an artist who made her NYC Scene Report debut last year, and judging by her latest single, “Give It All Up,” it looks like 2017 is going to be a breakout year for the soul-pop songstresss.
According to RÉN, the inspiration behind the song, which features electronic, and reggaeton influences, came from the story of a musician who decided to quit his musical career because he didn’t like the “musician lifestyle.” RÉN tells the story from the girlfriend’s perspective.
After taking a listen to “Give It All Up” you’ll be glad RÉN, unlike the guy in the song, is A-OK with the “musician lifestyle,” because it means we’ll be getting more great songs like this one.
* Using a roller coaster as a metaphor for a career in music, indie pop singer JAX’s ride has been filled with the kind of impressive heights, and terrifying downswings, that would make even the most seasoned theme park veteran tremble.
The New Jersey native has been performing since the age of 11, and placed third on season 14 of American Idol. The initial rise part of her ride qualified as an unbelievable thrill, but just as her season of Idol wrapped, JAX was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Everything had to be put on hold, as she had surgery, and completed radiation.
Now back in action, JAX is ready to release her debut EP, Funny, on January 27th. In anticipation of this, she’s hitting listeners with the single "Kickin' & Screamin’," a pop tune that will undoubtedly get stuck in your head, and you’ll enjoy ever moment of it.
* When metal, meets technology, meets jam band sensibilities, you get Bangladeafy, one of the most wonderfully unique two man acts you’ll find in NYC’s indie music scene.
Bangladeafy, which consists of bassist Jon Ehlers – who has been nearly entirely deaf since birth – and drummer Atif Haq, are currently working on their next release, which will be the follow up to their 2016 EP, Narcopaloma. A Spring tour is also in the works.
While we wait for both their next release, and their Spring tour, check out Bangladeafy’s video for “Say It With Your Chest.” I guarantee you haven’t heard, or seen, anything like it before.
* For a good number of us, high school was a time when we were attempting to juggle doing well enough to get into the college of our choice, with pursuing members of the opposite sex, and occasionally wondering what the hell was going on with our face.
For R&B/pop singer Teddy Edwards, his high school experience also includes launching a music career, starting with his debut single, “My Name.” (What kind of free period does this guy have?!?).
A radio-ready track, “My Name” could be the launching pad for a very exciting 2017 for Edwards. Give it a listen, and hear for yourself.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.