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 something live from indie alt-pop-rock act The New Tarot, an inspiring tune from indie pop-rock band The Foxfires, a performance clip from soulful singer-songwriter Stolar, and multi-lingual hip-hop from Bohan Phoenix.
* The New Tarot have become one of NYC’s must-see indie bands, and I can say this with some authority, as I’ve seen them live and it’s a heck of an experience.
The band, which is led by sisters Monika and Karen Walker, just released a live video from one of their recent shows, and it features the opening verse of a new song titled “Kingdom,” along with one of their previously released songs, “Wait.”
Click play on the clip, and get lost in the amazing vocals of Monika Walker, and the vibe that is The New Tarot. Afterwards, look up when they’re performing next, and mark it on your calendar, as you’ll definitely want to be there.
* If you’re down in the dumps, and in need of a pick me up, click play on The Foxfires’ “Don’t Give Up.”
The indie pop-rock foursome that hails from both NY and NJ wrote the song, which is an anti-suicide anthem, a little while ago, and have been passionate about releasing it as a single since the deaths of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington.
Rather than being morose, “Don’t Give Up” has a bouncy feel to it, as it’s nearly four and a half minutes of joyous positivity. It’s like a smile, and a hug, in song form, and who couldn’t use that?
* Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Stolar is an artist that’s taking the city’s indie soul scene by storm. A perfect example of why is the stripped down version of his song “Erase You” that he performed at NYC’s City Winery.
“Erase You” is part of Stolar’s year long Raw Emotions project, where he’s releasing new music every month, with each month tied to a different emotion.
In a statement, Stolar discussed the performance at City Winery, saying, “When I started to put together my first live arrangement of a song in a long time, I decided to take a completely different approach. The month of ‘Uncomfortable’ taught me that the first incarnation of Raw Emotions Live needs to be just me on stage – raw, real, and unfiltered. It's already pushing me to places that are scary but are bringing the songs to life in ways I couldn't even imagine before. This month's video of ‘Erase You’ is the first song I've put together live, and I'm now working on challenging myself to figure out how to have a show that sonically has the depth of the music I'm putting out, but has the intimacy of the Raw Emotions project itself.”
Check it out, and groove to Stolar.
* Have you ever heard a hip-hop artist who can flow effortlessly in both English and Chinese, switching back and forth between the two languages? If you answered yes, you probably already know about NYC, via China, emcee Bohan Phoenix.
Earlier this month, Phoenix released his latest project, an EP titled OVERSEAS. On the EP he gets deeply personal about his childhood in China, arriving in the US at the age of 11, and being an independent artist.
Phoenix actually learned English, at least in part, by rapping along to his favorite hip-hop songs, so it almost seems like it was destiny that he’d eventually become a hip-hop artist himself.
The release of OVERSEAS comes at a unique time for Phoenix, as while hip-hop culture has become popular culture in America, in China the government has cracked down on hip-hop, including banning rappers from performing on television.
Click play on the video for the title track of the EP, and let Bohan Phoenix take you on a journey through his life.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.