NYC Scene Report – Raffaella, San Roman, & The Vacant Lots

This week’s NYC Scene Report features Raffaella’s thoughts on being “GROWN UP,” things getting “Messy” for San Roman, and a “Thank You” from The Vacant Lots.

* NYC born and raised, but now Minnesota-based artist Raffaella, recently released an EP titled LIVE, RAFF, LOVE (Act 1), via Mom + Pop, and it has her feeling really “GROWN UP.”

“GROWN UP” is the latest single from the EP, and Raffaella – who you may also know from the indie supergroup Peach Fuzz – says it’s about realizations regarding adulthood, and her “feeling like a big baby pretending to know what I’m doing.”

She adds the addictive indie pop gem “was a genuine attempt at amplifying a newfound sense of self actualization … everything I say is exactly what I understand adulthood to be … but through expressing that I sound more like a kid than ever. Temper tantrums, pool parties, the thrill of snacking … all the staples of childhood never really go away, they just get bigger.”

On a personal note, I’m going to be singing the line, “I’m grown up now, I buy my groceries at the grocery store,” every single time I go grocery shopping. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

* To everyone who’s been patiently waiting for the return of Alexa San Román since the disbanding of Heirsound five years ago – the wait is finally over, and things are about to get “Messy.”

Now going by SAN ROMAN, “Messy” is the lead single, and title track from her upcoming album, due out later this year.

Discussing the pop-punk song in a statement, San Roman said, “‘Messy’ is about running in place. That feeling when you try to punch something underwater, and the moment of slight amusement when things are so bad you can’t help but to laugh. It’s finding the motivation to nonetheless still get up outta bed, and wade through the metaphorical mess. ‘When my world fell down around me, I caught fire, but I’ll be fine.’”

Heirsound was featured in this column over half a dozen times from 2016 through 2017, and based on “Messy,” you’ll be hearing a lot of SAN ROMAN here, as well.

* Brooklyn-based post-punk/synth-pop duo The Vacant Lots recently released a single titled “Thank You,” and that will be your exact reaction after hearing it.

A kick ass track that has elements of the ‘80s, ‘90s, and the present, “Thank You,” which is a relationship post-mortem, can connect with just about anyone.

Opening up about the inspiration for the song, The Vacant Lots’ Jared Artaud said, “When it’s over it’s a lot easier to look back and see things for what it is; to look back and see the duality of love and hate in a relationship. Sometimes it’s a lot more devastating losing the time you had than the person you thought you loved. Nothing is worse than wasting your time.”

“Thank You” is off The Vacant Lots’ upcoming album, Closure, which is due out September 30th via Fuzz Club Records. They’ll be supporting the album with a U.S. tour September 30th through October 24th, and an overseas tour November 9th through December 8th. Something tells me none of those venues will be vacant.

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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