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 prom themed video from Samia, a training montage from Birch, surreal comedy from Oliver Kennan, and the return of Operator Music Band.
* We’re only halfway through 2019, but Samia has already had a heck of a year. The NYC-based artist recently wrapped up back to back tours with Donna Missal, and Hippo Campus, and followed that up with the release of the video for her latest single, “Ode to Artifice.”
“Ode to Artifice” is a retro soul-pop gem, and the video for it was directed by Nick D’agostino, and features a cameo from Mary-Louise Parker.
Samia discussed the song, and video, in a statement, saying, “‘Ode to Artifice’ is a desperate plea – my authentic self is lusting after my stage/party persona and begging her to merge. Nick D’agostino and I decided to tell the story of a girl who spends weeks obsessing over the way she’ll present herself at prom, only to discover that she is grossly underdressed compared to the more colorful and popular version of herself who is thriving at the event.”
D'agostino adds, “While (‘Ode to Artifice’ is) super fun and up-tempo, the song resonates with me for a much darker reason. It seems that everyone is constantly projecting, curating, and uploading different versions of themselves to the world. Be it who they hope to be, or to hide something they are, we're relying on these personas to carry a part of our personalities for us. What better place is there to explore an encounter with a performed version of oneself than a high school prom?”
You can check out “Ode to Artifice” right here.
* Who doesn’t love a good training montage? In every film involving boxing, or the martial arts, a training montage happens when the protagonist realizes he, or she, has to take on the biggest baddest opponent of their life. This culminates in the climax of the film – the ridiculously epic fight.
A training montage is the aesthetic of the video for NYC-based synth-pop artist Birch’s latest single, “femme.one,” which happens to be the title track of her recently released full length album.
What is she training for, you ask? According to a post on his Instagram, she says, “Time to bulk up, get strong and take on the mother f*cking patriarchy.”
* Oliver Kennan – who, judging by his vocals, is a time traveler from a much more soulful, jazzy, era of music – has gone slightly surreal for the video for his latest single, “The Tinkerer.”
Kennan explained the clip in a statement, saying, “The music video for ‘The Tinkerer’ is a surreal comedy about a young girl and the chaos of growing up. Everyone knows that adolescence can be just as complicated as adulthood, and the contrast of the image of a child and the thoughts of an adult lets us explore that idea and laugh about it at the same time.”
Explore, laugh, and don’t forget MOVE, as “The Tinkerer” – which is off Kennan’s recently released album, Oh Boy (Hornblow Recordings) – will also have you tinkering with your best dance moves.
Click play on the video, and get to movin’!
* Brooklyn-based experimental art-pop quartet Operator Music Band, who recently signed with Broken Circles, are back with a double single, “Squaresoft / Cowboy.”
“Squaresoft” is a funky tune with a killer bass line, and otherworldly electronic elements, while “Cowboy” is a bit of a throwback to the ‘90s electronic music scene mixed with more of those aforementioned otherworldly electronic elements.
Wildly different, yet with a common thread that ties them together, “Squaresoft / Cowboy” is a great listen. Click play and hear both songs for yourself!
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.