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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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NYC Scene Report – Nation of Language, Namesake, & Record Heat
Wednesday, November 17, 2021

This week’s NYC Scene Report features Nation of Language making “The Grey Commute,” Namesake having some observations about the “Population,” and Record Head meeting a “Magnetic Woman.”

* I’ve always felt one of the greatest compliments you can give a band is that you think the music they make is cool. Nation of Language has been creating a catalogue of cool, and their latest single is the synth, and societal driven “The Grey Commute.”

Off their recently released sophomore album, A Way Forward, the band’s Ian Devaney discussed the song in a statement, saying, “In some ways ‘The Grey Commute’ is one of the more upbeat songs on the record, but in truth it’s one that was born out of much more depressing stuff. As I was working on the lyrics I had a kind of fixation on terrible tax policies, (and) our cultural addiction to meaningless consumption, and it all got swept together into this punchy, kind of fun track.”

Nation of Language will be touring internationally in January, but you can check out “The Grey Commute” right here. No MetroCard required!

* Brooklyn’s Namesake released their sophomore album, Redeeming Features, last month, the fourth single off of which is the gentrification smashing “Population.”

Namesake frontman Patrick Phillips discussed the inspiration for the song in a statement, saying, “Prior to the pandemic, my younger sister visited NYC, and we decided to take a long random walk around Manhattan. I’d just read an article about the recently completed Hudson Yards, and I was curious to check it out. The article mentioned how it was basically a gated community for the ultra-wealthy, a place its residents ‘never have to leave,’ and another punch in the face to average New Yorkers in the form of glass towers. When the pandemic hit, the rich would flee, and Hudson Yards became eerily quiet.”

Phillips continued, adding, “I wrote ‘Population’ after that day with my sister. We’re both from the Midwest, but my 15 years in the city have turned me into a proud New Yorker, and what I’ve witnessed is life getting harder and harder for normal working-class people, while the hyper-gentrification continues. Hopefully, in a post-pandemic world, the city can start addressing some of the polarizing wealth inequality. At my lower Manhattan restaurant job, I’m reminded often of how the very wealthy live in a very different city than the rest of us.”

After hearing “Population,” I think you’ll want to live in Namesake’s neck of the woods.

* A duo of great philosophers once asked, “F*cking magnets, how do they work?”

More recently, Brooklyn-based indie alt-pop-rock band Record Heat met a “Magnetic Woman,” and they’d like to tell us all about her.

“‘Magnetic Woman’ is a metaphorical funhouse of attraction,” the band explained, discussing the the song, and the inspiration for it, in a statement, “You can't resist it. You can’t fight it. She has all the power and, frankly, you want it that way.”

A synth heavy gem, “Magnetic Woman” sounds like the type I’d absolutely swipe right on. Give the song a listen and I’m sure you’ll agree, because the music Record Heat makes is everyone’s type.

For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.

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