NYC Scene Report – Zoe Ko, Don’t Believe In Ghosts, & Tim Atlas

This week’s NYC Scene Report features Zoe Ko with an anthem about growing up in the city, Don’t Believe In Ghosts giving listeners a live version of “The Chase,” and Tim Atlas teaming up with Raphael Futura to man a “Lifeboat.”

* When you start a song with the lyrics, “2011 on a subway / I was 11 with a weapon / In the pocket of my dress / If someone tried to mess / This birdie would go off / And I’d be calling up the feds,” you had me at hello.

This is how Zoe Ko leads off her latest single, “Tangerine,” which is an anthem about growing up in a city that can sometimes be incredibly harsh, and surprisingly isolating.

An indie pop song with some serious bite, “Tangerine” is off Ko’s 2023 EP Baby Teeth. Describing the EP in a statement, she said, “This project is for the person who still needs to heal, come to terms with their past, and then let loose, have fun, and strut with confidence.”

With a “Tangerine” smile, Ko makes pop music that kicks some serious ass … and for the love of God, don’t mess with her on the subway!

* Over the past few months Don’t Believe In Ghosts have been releasing some live in-studio versions of their songs, and the latest from these sessions is “The Chase.”

Filmed and recorded at Shorefire Studios in New Jersey, “The Chase” features the band’s trademark feel-good indie pop-rock sound, and lyrics that are equal parts relatable, inspiring, and cathartic.

Don’t Believe In Ghosts have an incredible knack for creating a positive vibe from, or for, just about anything in life, and “The Chase” is no exception. Oh, and did I mention there’s an epic sax solo?

There’s an epic sax solo!

* Brooklyn-based singer, songwriter, and producer Tim Atlas has teamed up with French-Italian artist Raphael Futura to man the smoothest, groove-based “Lifeboat” you could possibly have the pleasure of being rescued by.

While you may float away on the sound of “Lifeboat,” the topic of the song is actually pretty heavy, as Atlas explains, “This one is about trying to fight the inevitable, but it starts to feel unbearable. ‘Lifeboat’ is just sort of a metaphor for being stuck and sinking eventually.”

“Lifeboat” is off Atlas’ upcoming EP, Matinee, due out February 23rd via Nettwerk. He describes the musical vibe of the project, saying, “It’s laid back, and I think it makes you relaxed in a Sunday morning kind of way.”

This is certainly true of “Lifeboat,” which you can climb aboard right here.

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