NYC Scene Report – poptropicaslutz!, KAYE, & Michael Incognito

This week’s NYC Scene Report features poptropicaslutz! finding “1000 peaceful ways to die,” KAYE worshipping a “Neon God,” and Michael Incognito requesting “Let me know you got this message.”

* I was just put on to NYC-based duo poptropicaslutz! a couple months ago, and I’ll reiterate now what I said then – this is a band that could easily break into the mainstream, and play a role in defining the next era of popular music.

Their latest single is “1000 peaceful ways to die,” and its mixture of pop, pop-punk, and emo, along with incredibly catchy songwriting, makes it easy to understand why the band is quickly developing a rabid fan base.

I wouldn’t be surprised in the least to hear poptropicaslutz! on alt-rock, and Top 40 radio sooner rather than later … just remember where you heard ‘em first (as long as you heard ‘em here first. If you heard ‘em somewhere else first, I mean, that’s cool and all, but I was really just trying to hype myself up here, ya know?)!

* If indie music fans are looking for something to worship, KAYE has a Neon God for you to consider.

Neon God is KAYE’s upcoming EP, due out August 5th, and the title track was inspired by the unique combination of a religious upbringing, and the discovery of the religion of rock music.

“This song has so many layers of meaning for me,” KAYE said in a statement, “I was raised in a conservative Christian household, and to my Chinese immigrant parents, becoming a rock star was the most Satanic thing I could possibly do. I had a promise ring! I went to church camp. One day, I snuck out of the house and experienced my first punk show, and that was when I was TRULY evangelized. I found belonging with all these other misfits, and THAT became my church. Since then I’ve been fascinated by this idea of how not just rock stars, but politicians, celebrities, actors, tech leaders, news anchors, all have their own cults of personality. It made me think about what I worship now, as opposed to back then—has one idol just been swapped for another?”

The video for “Neon God” was directed by KAYE’s sister, filmmaker Liann Kaye, and you can check it out – and worship if you so please – right here.

* Seven years ago Brooklyn-based indie pop artist Michael Incognito felt the pain of unrequited love, and that incident, followed by the personal revelations he realized afterward, are all wrapped up in his recently released single “Let me know you got this message.”

“The song was inspired by a friend who I became close with toward the end of high school,” Incognito said in a statement, “The summer after our freshman year of college, we took a trip with some friends. I felt confident — as I had started to accept my own queerness — and finally tried showing him how I felt, but was shut down. I felt trapped in a place of shame, replaying every scene from our time together. When I later asked if we could talk, he declined. I felt devastated and confused — it particularly hurt because I could see this other side of him, but knew that even if he had those feelings, he wouldn’t dare talk about them.”

Incognito continued, adding, “I think a lot of gay men experience relationships like this. We love the things we can’t have because we tell ourselves we’re not worth having what we deserve. It takes time to unlearn that.”

Check out the video for “Let me know you got this message,” and for those of you who are wondering, yes, he’s related to former NFL offensive lineman Richie Incognito!

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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