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 hard rockers Zr. King welcoming listeners to Bearizona, Oliver Kennan soulfully asking “Which Way is Up,” Human People introducing us to “Jenny,” and WIVES “Waving Past Nirvana.”
* Great music cannot be rushed. I think that’s why it’s taken five years for NYC-based hard rock band Zr. King to finalize their sophomore effort, Musically & Morally Bankrupt. The album is due out May 17th, with the first single being the blistering “Welcome to Bearizona.”
With its Alice In Chains inspirations, and notable guitar solo, “Welcome to Bearizona” is a blast from the past that is still rooted firmly in the present.
According to Zr. King’s Facebook page, the band manages to handle their rock n roll duties, “All while juggling chainsaws and hand grenades.” The latter is apropos, as “Welcome to Bearizona” is an explosive song.
* Once you click play on NYC-based bandleader Oliver Kennan’s latest single, “Which Way is Up,” it becomes clear that the young artist is an old soul.
“Some people have an internal monologue,” he explains, “I have an internal jukebox, and I want to show people what it sounds like.”
That internal jukebox sounds like something that would be playing in the legendary soul and jazz venues back in the day.
When it comes to “Which Way is Up” – which is off Kennan’s upcoming album, Oh Boy due out May 10th via Hornblow Recordings – he says, “The song is a conversation with myself about all the things I can’t be sure about, and a way to make peace with that.”
Kennan adds the inspiration for the music video came to him one late night while walking over the Williamsburg Bridge. “I noticed that the walking path has almost no traffic late at night, and the lights and sightline are great. I was listening to music and just started dancing across its length. When I got to the far end I just thought that we had to do something similar with that space.”
You can catch Kennan on tour May 9th through the 25th, and you can see the video for “Which Way is Up” right here.
* Brooklyn-based indie rockers Human People would like to introduce you to “Jenny.” “Jenny” being the name of the latest single from their recently released full length debut Butterflies Drink Turtle Tears.
The video for “Jenny” was directed by the band’s own Marisa Gershenhorn (guitar/vocals), who says the clips “is inspired by sci-fi stories like Videodrome and Neon Genesis Evangelion that deal with identity. It’s about the ways we curate an understandable version of ourselves to present to the world.”
You had me at Videodrome! Any band that references David Cronenberg movies is cool with me.
* Queens-based indie rock foursome WIVES have signed to City Slang Records, which will be releasing the band’s debut 7”, “Waving Past Nirvana” b/w “Kinda Like You,” on May 24th.
WIVES are currently on an overseas tour that began on April 26th, and runs through May 8th, but they gave everyone a music video for “Waving Past Nirvana” before they left. Director Milah Libin explained the clip in a statement, saying, “When I listened to ‘Waving Past Nirvana’ it evoked the beauty, and the mundane, in a never-ending routine. The closeness to finding some sort of fulfillment, or ‘nirvana,’ that keeps bringing one back. It happens to all types of people, but particularly in New York, where the beat is so fast, and so many come here searching. It's not quite sad; there's something admirable in that search – a sort of dedication.”
As a bonus, the video features a Hello Kitty boombox!
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.