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 Elliot Lee feeling “Upside Down,” a “Version” of Sophie Colette, Makes My Blood Dance “Beaming Right Up,” and Mikal Amin stamping your PassPort.
* When I first heard Brooklyn-based indie pop artist Elliot Lee’s “Upside Down” I immediately fell in love with her music. She is the best parts of more artists than I can count, combining everything from dark pop, to hip-hop, to electronic music, resulting in the rarest of rarities in 2019 – a fresh new sound.
Lee also crafts her songs with depth, as she explains, “It feels so satisfying to wrap up uncomfortable messages in pretty, stomach-able packages that make people want to dance and sing, but also low-key cry about all of the sadness in the world at the same time.”
She adds, “Each song is a representation of what was taking up the most space in my brain while I was writing the lyrics, and the writing process itself helps me to work through the issues instead of just quietly ruminating like I otherwise do.”
Give “Upside Down” a listen. If you’re anything like me you’ll be hitting the replay button again and again.
* Sometimes a great new artist is staring you right in the face, and in the case of Brooklyn-based indie pop singer-songwriter Sophie Colette, I’m not speaking metaphorically – I found out about her music when we were literally staring each other in the face at an event for another artist.
After an impassioned debate about cargo shorts (the passion was all on my side, attempting to convince her they’re super cool), we exchanged stickers (what are business cards?). Hers said “I saw the glimmer in your eye.” I was intrigued, and went to her site. As it turned out, she’s great!
Colette recently released a single titled “Version,” and it’s a gorgeous song, with vocals so beautifully sweet they grab you right by the heart.
Give “Version” a spin. I guarantee this won’t be the last time you see Sophie Colette here!
* Back in April I wrote about disco metal band Makes My Blood Dance making their debut with their song “Beaming Right Up.” Now there’s a video for the song – which is the first of six singles to be released by the band – and it’s just as wild, and unique, as the band itself.
Frontman Evan Russell Saffer discussed the clip in a statement, saying, “We wanted to do something elegant and sexy, so the theme of the video mixes elements of the roaring ‘20s with a Middle Eastern aesthetic that could be on Mars. Sort of Great Gatsby meets Blade Runner 2049.”
In reality, the video wasn’t shot on Mars, it was actually filmed in a designer loft in Tribeca, and it’s something you should absolutely click play on immediately.
* Brooklyn-based hip-hop artist Mikal Amin has toured the globe numerous times, and with his latest release he’s asking listeners to grab The PassPort and take a trip of their own, musically speaking.
The PassPort is Mikal’s new, seven track, EP, the second in his “Where in the World is Gun” series (which plays off his stage name of Hired Gun). For the EP, he’s joined by artists from Hungary, Germany, France, Italy, Mozambique, and Swaziland.
In a statement, he explained the inspiration for The PassPort, saying, “Four years ago was the release of my last project. Having just finished a tour as an American Music Abroad cultural ambassador, I returned from Mozambique, and Swaziland with new records I’d done with Azagia, RasSkunk and Jazz P. It would be the start of this project. Since that trip, I’ve toured several European countries, performing and building with these artists to create music for you. Roughly ten years ago I realized that my influence, inspiration, and motivation had ascended from the local to the global and The PassPort, the second international compilation I've released, is a reflection of the universal hip-hop culture and citizenship that I'm a part of.”
Check out the song “Duisburg to Brooklyn,” featuring Tomasz Kwapien, and get your PassPort stamped.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.