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 meaningful indie pop gem from Birch, a quick burst of rock from Washer, indie pop artist Skela asking “What’s Wrong With Me,” and a hard rock anthem from Mother Feather that’s “Totally Awesome.”
* Do I consider NYC indie synth-pop artist Birch’s video for her song “femme.two” shocking? No, I consider it beautifully artistic. Google, on the other hand, disapproved of the clip when Birch attempted to advertise it, as they deemed it, you guessed it, “shocking.”
In reality, the video for “femme.two” is an artistic masterpiece that beautifully illustrates the message of the song, and it’s a song that has some real depth to it regarding female empowerment.
Check out the video. The only way you’ll find it shocking is if you’re stuck a hundred years in the past, and a woman standing up for herself makes you nervous.
* Brooklyn-based indie grunge-punk-garage rock duo Washer (and believe me when I say not even that many hyphens do their sound justice) are back with a 1 minute 14 second explosion of emotion titled “Super Pop.”
“Super Pop” is off their upcoming split 7’’ with Bethlehem Steel, which is due out November 30th. Washer’s singer-guitarist-bassist Mike Quigley explained the inspiration for the song, saying, “I had been feeling bogged down by a nagging drive to avoid standards of pop songwriting, but sometimes you can kill a perfectly good hook trying to force it into something it’s not. Weird for the sake of being seen, or heard, as weird can be pretty dull, so we just let this one be what it was. The lyrics came after, and in some sense are similar. (It) starts with a ritual for focusing yourself, trying to change or grow in some way. We can all reinvent ourselves if and when we need to, even if it seems impossible. You'll be many different people throughout your life. Gotta let yourself try ‘em all out.”
Click play on “Super Pop,” and rock out with Washer.
* Queens native Skela has posed a tough question with her latest single – “What’s Wrong With Me?”
The indie pop artist discussed the video for the high energy song – which deals with self-doubt – saying, “We wanted the ‘What's Wrong With Me’ music video to depict the manic state of losing yourself. There’s a freedom and power you get from the high, but it's a scary feeling, and it's like you don't really recognize yourself. I've been painting self-portraits of myself for the past five years. They've just been for me up until now, but we decided last minute to incorporate them into the video and I'm so glad we did. I guess this video is another self-portrait.”
With “What’s Wrong With Me” being a glimpse of what’s to come from Skela, the project she’s looking to release before the end of the year should be on everyone’s radar.
* If you’ve seen, or heard, NYC-based hard rockers Mother Feather you already know they’re “Totally Awesome.” Now they have an anthemic song to back it up that you can’t help but crank up and sing along to.
“Totally Awesome” is off Mother Feather’s latest album, Constellation Baby, which was released earlier this month, and the song is a mixture of the unbridled fun of a pop song, and the blistering rock n roll the band has become known for. Imagine if Twister Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” had a Yeah Yeah Yeahs influence, and you get “Totally Awesome.”
Sound totally awesome to you? It sure does to me! The band has a hometown show at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on December 6th, but you can sing along to “Totally Awesome” right now.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.