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 Jake Palumbo getting a “$50 Haircut,” something “Heavy Heavy” from Pom Pom Squad, Best Ex telling us about “Bad Love,” and Emmrose thinking about “Tonight.”
* Jake Palumbo – emcee, producer, and CEO of SpaceLAB Recordings – wants to tell you about the power of a “$50 Haircut.”
The first single off his just released, self-produced, 9-song project, The Hundred-Thousandaire Hobo (available via SpaceLAB Recordings / Soulspazm Records), “$50 Haircut” is an ode to looking fresh, and with that as the subject matter, Palumbo knew he had to have a video to match.
The clip was directed by Donald Robinson Cole III (aka Megadon), and was shot on location at Etiket Barber & Lifestyle Co. in Jersey City, NJ.
Palumbo explained his inspiration for “$50 Haircut” in a statement, saying, “As the self-anointed Best Hair In Indie Rap, it only makes sense the first single pay tribute to the euphoria one feels stepping out the chair with a fresh cut.”
In addition to “$50 Haircut,” The Hundred-Thousandaire Hobo features a variety of sounds – from boom bap, to trap, – and “dense bars combined with absurdist humor to form the Brooklyn-tinged Southern gravy that you've come to expect.”
Check out “$50 Haircut,” and get fresh with Jake Palumbo.
* You know how sometimes you’ll hear a band an immediately go, “Holy sh*t! This is freakin’ fantastic!” That’s the reaction you’re going to have when you check out Pom Pom Squad.
No, they aren’t here to root for your local college football team. They’re hear to melt your face off.
Led by Mia Berrin, the Brooklyn-based grunge rock quartet released their sophomore EP, Ow, last month, the lead single off of which is “Heavy Heavy.”
Check out the video for “Heavy Heavy” – which has some serious ‘90s vibes – and see why the band prides themselves on managing to be serious without taking themselves too seriously.
* When checking out the latest from Best Ex there’s a chance you’ll recognize the vocals, because you may already be familiar with Mariel Loveland from her former project, Candy Hearts.
Moving from rock to indie pop, Loveland recently released “Bad Love,” which is the first new music from Best Ex since the Ice Cream Anti-Social EP came out in 2017.
Explaining the inspiration for the song, she says, “Honestly, my entire life, I’ve wondered who the heck is the type of person that drinks cocktails at hotels in Manhattan. Yet, I somehow found myself there, stirring the ice in my $20 cocktail and thinking about why I’m always following the type of love that I know is going to hurt me.”
Loveland continued, adding, “That moment felt like some sort of wake up call to adulthood after years of reading those highly dramatic Cosmo, or Vice, essays about dating in NYC, and picturing how that happens, and how someone finds themselves there. I went from being this timid, terrified girl drinking lukewarm beer in a college dorm room, to this brave but cartoonish image I always had of a single New Yorker, yet nothing actually changed at all. I was still unhappy, and I was still unable to let go of the same person who made my heart skip when I saw him during college orientation.”
Expect “Bad Love” to be the first of many new releases from Best Ex, as Loveland states, “I have a lot of songs on my computer’s hard drive. It almost feels like they’'e mad at me for letting them rot on a cheap HP that I purchased on Black Friday. What a terrible fate. They deserve better, and they’re ready to be shown to the world – very soon.”
For now we can fall in love with “Bad Love.”
* Indie pop singer-songwriter Emmrose made her first appearance in this column back in July, and now she’s back with another fantastic single, “Tonight.”
Explaining the song in a statement, Emmrose said, “‘Tonight’ was heavily inspired by one moment/memory I semi-created in my head. I was at party where I didn’t really know many people there. It was dark, and the music was crazy loud … I just felt like I didn’t belong.”
She continued, adding, “Most of the first verse is about this guy I really liked, and trying to hide the fact I was still into him. As I wrote more of the song, I remembered seeing him there at a party. The night was memorable because while I was feeling alone, and semi-ostracized, I also didn’t want him to notice.”
With songs like “Tonight,” pretty soon everyone will be taking notice of Emmrose.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.