NYC Scene Report – Sabrina Song, Strange Neighbors, & Craig Greenberg

This week’s NYC Scene Report features three column faves who were recently doing it for the desk.

Allow me to explain.

Every year NPR gets indie artists to post video submissions for a shot at playing a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR Music headquarters, and headline the organization’s Tiny Desk on the Road tour. While entries closed about a month ago, I’ve seen a plethora of submissions from my NYC indie faves popping up in my YouTube feed.

Since my faves are my winners, I decided it would be great to share some of those videos here.

With that in mind, check out the Tiny Desk submissions from Sabrina Song, Strange Neighbors, and Craig Greenberg. 

 * Singer-songwriter Sabrina Song has been prepping for the release of her full-length debut album, You Could Stay In One Spot, which is due out June 7th. One of the recently released singles from the album is “Okay, Okay,” which she did a gorgeous live version of as her Tiny Desk submission.

Discussing the song in a statement, Song said, “‘Okay, Okay’ started as a long list of rambles describing the same thing – how can you fully trust that the person you love feels the same, especially in the beginning? The anxiety of being in love can be so intense because you’re at your most vulnerable, and it’s very easy to self-sabotage out of fear or insecurity.”

Even with all those emotions swirling within “Okay, Okay,” she says, “This is a song about reassurance – ‘If I could touch the sun / If I could take the pain / I’d do it all for you / Excess with no restraint.’”

Song’s vocals are far more than simply okay, they are absolutely gorgeous, especially on this live version of “Okay, Okay.”

* Longtime column favorites Strange Neighbors used their Tiny Desk submission as an opportunity to debut a new single, titled “Without a Head.”

Normally a raucous live band that creates a wild time at every show, this performance gives listeners a different side of the band, and I think that’s due, in part, to the venue, and the format.

Performing in a room to an audience of a camera is a heck of a lot different than being on stage and motivating a crowd, and while over the years Strange Neighbors have proven to be more than adept at the latter, tackling the former allowed them to strip things down, and prove they can also embrace a really wonderful classic pop sound.

Check out the clip, and enjoy the vibe … just don’t lose your head!

* If you’ve never seen modern day troubadour and piano man Craig Greenberg live, you’ve been missing out on a heck of a good time. For his Tiny Desk submission he brought those good times back to the days of boogie-woogie with a new song titled “Some Peace of Mind.”

A soon as he starts playing “Some Peace of Mind” your mind will be blown away by how fast his hands are moving on the piano. It’s a real WHOA moment, and he keeps the frantic pace for the entire song.

Speaking of the song, it’s a classic Craig Greenberg tune, filled with personality, and emotion. You can’t help but have a blast when you’re listening to him, so click play on “Some Peace of Mind.” You’ve earned a few minutes of boogie time!

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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