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 a “Rotten Pumpkin” from indie rockers Slothrust, a “Telephone” call you’ll want to pick up from the soulful Sinkane, the inspiring singer-songwriter stylings of Saul Rivers, and some retro inspired indie rock from NO ICE.
* Brooklyn-based indie rockers Slothrust are going to be hitting the road for a tour that begins March 1st, and runs through March 15th.
With a rock sound that’s influenced by both jazz, and blues, Slothrust’s frontwoman Leah Wellbaum says, “People have always had trouble comparing us to other bands, but someone recently described us as Nirvana meets Wynton Marsalis, and I loved that.”
Wellbaum continued, adding, “We all studied jazz and blues, so I often use chords and voicings that aren’t quite as conventional for contemporary rock. Certain harmonic movement can get stale, so I try to incorporate colorful notes to give it more depth. The improvisational spirit of blues music is also something we try to always keep with us, even in more composed playing."
Slothrust released their third album, Everyone Else, this past fall, and while you’ll have to wait until March to catch them live, you can rock out to their video for “Rotten Pumpkin” right now.
* Put on your dancin’ shoes, because Brooklyn-based soul artist Sinkane has released a new single titled “Telephone,” and it’s definitely a party line.
“Telephone” is the second single off of Sinkane’s upcoming album, Life & Livin’ It, due out February 10th via City Slang, and it is guaranteed to get you up out of your seat and moving.
Sinkane explains his ultimate goal for this album was to create songs that are joyous, but also socially conscious beneath the surface. ”I would listen to my favorite records, like Funkadelic's America Eats Its Young, and realize how great they made me feel. That carefree, light and fun feeling I was getting while writing this record is what I want everyone to feel when they listen to it."
The video for “Telephone,” which was directed by Bráulio Amado and Bruno Ferreira, and filmed in a single-shot in an apartment in Lisbon, Portugal, stars Kelly Nakamura, a classically-trained ballerina and dance instructor. Check out the clip, and then check out Sinkane during his world tour, which begins February 15th, and runs through April 8th.
* If you’re looking for an indie singer-songwriter who has the power to affect you with his work, you better call Saul. Saul Rivers, that is.
Last week the Brooklyn-based artist released an EP titled Couldn’t Do It Alone, and he says of the project, and his work in general, “My goal is to create music that people can relate to and connect with; music that can help people to heal, reflect, change, and grow. I know that the music that I was so inspired by growing up helped me to become the person, and artist, that I am today, and I hope that I can be an artist that does the same for future generations of songwriters, musicians, and everyday people.”
Check out the title track off of Couldn’t Do It Alone, and get inspired by Saul Rivers.
* If you were to have no ice in your beverage you might be disappointed, but if you were to have NO ICE in your playlist, you’d be enjoying some indie rock goodness straight out of NYC.
NO ICE started as a recording project of two former members of The Brooklyn What – Jamie Frey and Jesse Katz – and evolved into a full band that embraces old school influences, while still feeling fresh.
This past year they released their full length debut, Come On Feel The NO ICE, the name being a tribute to The Lemonheads’ 1993 album, Come On Feel The Lemonheads. The latest single off of the album is “The Cemetery,” the video for which was filmed in 2016 at Aviv, in Brooklyn, and leads me to believe NO ICE’s shows are quite the good time. I may have to find out for myself later this year!
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.