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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Hot Features

Vid Pick: Kip Russell – Dumb Sh*t

My Top 6 Essential Creativity Habits

Vid Pick: Crunk Witch – Drive

Vid Pick: Lucy Camp – Found
Friday, March 23, 2018

I remember the first time I heard hip-hop artist Lucy Camp, it was 2016 and she’d just released the video for her single “Sixteen.” After just one listen it was clear she had personal strength, fantastic lyricism, and an incredible flow. It was impossible not to be impressed.

Last year she released an equally impressive EP, titled, Whispers, the latest single off of which is “Found," a deeply personal track about finding, and defining, oneself.

I caught up with Lucy Camp to find out more about the “Found,” the many personal truths in it, and her stint behind the camera as the director of the video. There was also talk of a possible collaborative effort between her, and last week’s Vid Pick featured artist, Fjer, which I, for one, would love to see happen.

“Found” is an intensely personal song. What inspired the lyrics, and were there any revelations that were particularly difficult to write about?

Writing-wise the song is actually pretty old. I wrote it in 2015 when I was still getting over a heartbreak. That was also the year I graduated high school, and started my first semester of college.

I felt very lost around the time I wrote “Found.”

Supposedly, after high school is when you're supposed to “find” yourself, but I felt like I was distancing myself from myself, if that makes any sense.

All your life you're placed under these labels that define who you are, but can you really tell anyone who YOU are? In the hook I say, “I don't wanna be another family noun,” cuz it's true – I don't want to be known as someone’s sister, or someone’s daughter, but in the eyes of people who only know me through relatives THAT’S who I am.

Generations pass with people handing down the baton, never really starting anything new, just continuing what someone else already continued.

Who is who and what is what? All that existential jazz inspired the song, but I'm only 20 so I need to chill. 

What kind of freedoms do you feel – artistic, or personal – when you write a song like “Found”?

I just love how I can slip in little lines that pertain to different parts of my life, and have people interpret it differently. Like one line will be about my mom, and someone will interpret it as a line about romantic relationships.

I love that I know what I'm talking about, and that no one else does entirely. It’s like having my own secret.

You close the song with the line, “I feel like you’d be happy if … I disappeared.” How do you get over that feeling, or come to terms with it?

For me it was a feeling of unwantedness. That line was meant for several people that ever made me feel less than I should have felt.

Personally, coming to terms with it was my way of getting over the feeling.

When someone doesn't want you, at first you mope. You wonder why. And then eventually it's just like, “Okay, so this person doesn't want me … moving on.”

There's always people out there who do want you. Focus your energy on those people. 

What have been some of your favorite reactions to “Found”? Have you had people tell you stories about how/why they relate to it?

Something people around me have said a lot is how catchy the song is for them.

I have also had people tell me how they relate strongly to the family related parts of the song. I think it's a subject a lot of people can empathize with.

You directed the video for “Found.” How important is it for you to control the visual aspect of your career, and what kind of experience did you have directing before this?

I need to have a say in anything I do. I myself am not a crazy visual person, so when I worked on videos in the past I always gave my 2 cents, and let whoever was directing take charge. Directing this video, however, really made me feel like I was more than an artist. It was nice, for once, to be the person that was like, “OK. CUT,” while at the same time be the muse.

I filmed a lot of homemade stuff as a kid, and in high school I would make little reality show parodies with my friend circle. I also took a film elective my junior year of high school, so I do know a thing or two about film editing, nothing at a professional level, though.

The other week I was interviewing Fjer, and asked her about the potential for a collaborative project between you two, so I will ask you the same thing – Any chance we can get a Lucy Camp + Fjer EP, or album?

Lucy Camp and Fjer EP … let’s goooo.

As you know, she made a Lucy Camp shirt. Are you making a Fjer shirt?

I love her. Fortunately I already have actual Fjer merch, so there's no need to make my own.

Finally, I know quite a few folks would love to see you in concert. Is there a tour in the works for 2018?

Shooting for a fall tour … no promises, though. {laughs}

For more Lucy Camp, check her out on Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:00 AM   0 comments
NYC Scene Report – The Worst Humans, ASTR, & more
Wednesday, March 21, 2018

This week’s NYC Scene Report features the latest from rock trio The Worst Humans, the rebirth of alt-pop act ASTR, indie rockers Sunflower Bean coming of age, and The Men giving listeners some hard rock with an old school feel to it.

* I’ve heard from reliable sources that Brooklyn-based rock trio The Worst Humans are not, in fact, the worst humans. I can also tell you that after just one listen to The Worst Humans you’ll know they’re a damned good band.

The trio’s latest single is “We’re on Drugs,” the inspiration for which came from frontman Ian Holubiak’s revelations from living in NYC for nearly a decade.

“I constantly talk to people who are prescribed anti-depressants and the like,” he explained in a statement, “and, I too have been prescribed medication to combat mental illness, but the community at large demonizes users, not only those who take prescription medication for one reason or another, but those who use illicit drugs, too. We need not put blame on users, nor do we need to judge someone’s character because they use.”

With a sound that’s equal parts modern rock, ‘90s alt-rock, and grunge, “We’re on Drugs” is sure to get rock fans high.

* Longtime readers of this site will recognize the name ASTR, as I’ve featured the alt-pop act here a number of times over the years, including an in-depth interview back in 2014. Well, A LOT has changed for ASTR since then, the biggest change being that ASTR is now a solo act.

Another change has been in ASTR’s sound, as evidenced by the new singles “Ritual” and “In Your Eyes.” In a statement, ASTR explained the inspiration for the former, saying, “We acquire programs for how we operate within the world through our environments and circumstances. These programs expire with our coming of age, and we must rewrite the system. ‘Ritual’ is about the burning desire to go beyond the surface and explore what we have accepted as true within a domesticized culture. There is a pool of potential energy on the other side when we spark our exploration.”

There’s no telling what’s next for ASTR –  she openly says, “Our only constant is change and the moment we become fixed in nature our evolution stops. Nature is fluid, and so is ASTR” – but for now we can all enjoy her “Ritual.”

* NYC’s indie rock scene has been buzzing with anticipation for Sunflower Bean’s sophomore album, Twentytwo in Blue, which is due out this Friday. The release date celebrates all three members of the band being 22, and comes nearly two years and two months after their debut effort.

The band recently released the single “Twentytwo,” the video for which was produced with Urban Outfitters, and features clothing from the store.

The video’s director, Olivia Bee, explained the concept for the clip in a statement, saying, “I loved metaphorically speaking about the reality of being a woman, but letting that reality exist whilst tapping into the magical blues of Twentytwo in Blue. This song showcases our strengths, and individual beauties, when we remove the masks that have been given to us by our society, and I wanted the video to reflect that.”

If you want to rock out with Sunflower Bean, you’re in luck, as the band will be on tour through July 1st. That’s not a typo, Sunflower Bean are road warriors! So check out the video for the gorgeous “Twentytwo,” and then check them out live when they hit your town.

* NYC-based hard rockers The Men released their seventh full length album, Drift, earlier this month, and the latest single off of it is a fast paced, fuzzed-out, gem with a terrifying title – “Killed Someone.”

The song almost sounds like it’s from another era, and there’s a good reason for that – the entire album was recorded to 2’’ tape. When you go old school, you get an old school sound, and if you like an old school sound, you’re gonna love “Killed Someone.”

Check it out and hear why The Men have been around for a decade, and will hopefully be around for at least another decade to come.

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


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:00 AM   0 comments
Stacking The Deck with Paige Howell
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Stacking The Deck is a feature exclusive to Adam’s World where I bring packs of 1991 Pro Set Superstars MusiCards to artists, and we discuss who they find in each pack.

Rising pop artist Paige Howell has been lighting up the stage at some of the most prominent indie music venues in NYC, including recent shows at Rockwood Music Hall, and Mercury Lounge.

With a brand of pop that ranges from traditional songs about love, to aggressive songs about breakups, to heartfelt odes to family, Howell manages to not just dip her toe in every facet of the genre, she plants a foot firmly in each one, letting the world know that if she chooses she can go in just about any direction she wants in the pop world.

I caught up with Howell at the Think Coffee at the corner of Bleecker and Bowery to open up some packs of MusiCards, and the artists we found sparked conversations about raw artistic talent, seeing Prince in concert, and how the Pittsburgh Penguins helped her get over a breakup.

Pat Benatar

When I was in college I went to school for musical theater, and I hated it. I hated everything about it, but there wasn’t a school that you could go to and major in pop star. They have programs that are pop music, but not what I was looking for, so I just settled and went to Wagner in Staten Island for musical theater.

I was not about it. You have to bring in musical theater songs to sing, and I didn’t. I always brought in Pat Benatar songs.

Wow, so is she the reason you failed musical theater, or did you get an A?

I got an A. I sang “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “Heartbreaker,” all of them. Then I saw her up at Bethel Woods, and someplace else … maybe Jones Beach.

What I love about her is how she aged instead of trying to be younger. She doesn’t read old, she evolves with her fan base, and she plays and sings and it’s still strong. I really admire the way she went instead of trying to … not to knock Madonna, but I feel like Madonna plays super young.

Yeah. I bet she still shops at Forever 21, and it’s like, you’re Forever Almost 60.

I also super admire what she does, too, but (Pat Benatar) was just a classier way, and she’s not fading out, she’s still relevant.

She tours with her husband.

Yeah, and he plays guitar, and she sings. I think it’s an incredible match up. I think that’s such an ultimate musical dream – she’s not irrelevant, people still want to go watch her, and maybe there’s not all the bells and whistles, but it’s genuine music, and that’s what I love so much about her. They’re power ballads, and up-tempos, and they pack a bunch, and there’s no bullshit, no nonsense.

So what you’re going to look for in life is a partner who can play guitar.

Eeeeh, maybe.

Tom Petty

Oh my God, what a heartbreak. I was actually supposed to go to see him on July 26th (of last year) for my birthday, and I couldn’t because I ended up working, and then he passed away right after.

I think he had one of the best Super Bowl halftime shows of all time. Again, there was no nonsense, no overproduction, it was just talent on stage.

He’s such a talented songwriter, and guitar player, and he does it all.

I mostly admire artists who are raw talents, they can just stand there, and use their instrument, and their voice, and they’ll pull you in. As opposed to a lot of stuff we have today with electronic dance music, it’s all dial tones and computers, this is such genuine, raw, music, and I think he’s a pioneer for so many guitarists, to this day.

I’ve never met a guitarist that doesn’t say he’s one of their influences.

I’ve never met a person, or a musician, that doesn’t like him.

Everyone has a Tom Petty tape, record, or CD, somewhere.

Yeah, and almost every song is one you recognize. (He has a) distinct voice, distinct lyric style, and he’s one of the artists you can listen to from song one to the last song on the record and not skip (any tracks).

I have to say, the video for “Don’t Come Around Here No More” blew my mind as a kid.

I love watching old music videos. I’m on a giant Elton John kick right now. (The videos are) so dated, but they’re just so amazing to watch.

I went to the Elton John Grammy tribute at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Lady Gaga sang “Your Song.” I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything better live in my life. The next day was a bunch of different artists that were at the Grammys. It was pretty incredible. He watched from the audience with Bernie Taupin.


Clearly you chose KISS because that is also your stage makeup, correct?

{laughs} Yes, always a star on my face.

No, I think KISS were revolutionary, they were groundbreaking, and I bet most of us wouldn’t be able to pick out what they look like without the makeup.

Other than Gene Simmons. Ace Frehley could walk in here and …

We’ll never know.

I think that’s such an amazing thing they did. They preserved their own lives by doing that, because they can walk down the street and have a normal life. There aren’t many artists that can do that. That’s like Hannah Montana before Hannah Montana.

And they have the KISS Army. Can you imagine a fan base like that?

They’re die hards.

It may not have been a KISS Army, but at the recent show of yours I attended you did have a section of people who knew the lyrics to at least one of your songs.

Those are my ride or die people. {laughs}

You need to get a name for them.

I’ll work on it. I’ll ask them what they want to be called.

I actually listen … I teach SoulCycle, and I play a lot of electronic music there because that’s what fits the class, but a lot of music is ruined for me because I associate it with working out. I love working out, but when I walk down the street it’s not what I want to listen to anymore. Not that I ever really did.

I write pop music, but I listen to rock music. I listen to rock, and folk, and things like that.

Do you think that informs your music?

Definitely, but when I actually produce art, and create, I am a pop artist, which is so weird because my influences are gonna always be more rock.

So when you were walking down the street to get here, what was in your headphones?

Butch Walker.

I listen to a lot of Butch Walker, Gavin DeGraw, I love Grace Potter. I think she’s so fantastic. I’ve never listened to a Grace Potter song I didn’t like. Same thing goes for Butch Walker. I can also tell when he produces something. There’s a little bit of grit in it, and I can tell that it’s a Butch song. That’s how I found him. I was listening to Sweeter by Gavin DeGraw and there were two songs that had a little bit of a rock edge to them. I was so in love with those two songs that I bought the album so I could have the liner notes. I saw Butch Walker’s name on these songs, and I immediately started listening to him.

I grew up listening to AC/DC, Prince, Michael Jackson. My mom was a really big Prince fan. I saw Prince four times.

Wow! When was the most recent time?

It was one of his last tours, and it was at Mohegan Sun in CT. He brought out Janelle Monae and Esperanza Spalding.

The Welcome 2 America Tour was where he had Misty Copeland open the show and it was spectacular. I grew up a ballerina.

So … ballerina, AC/DC, Prince?

Yeah, and actually how I stopped being a ballerina is my parents took me to see Gwen Stefani’s first solo tour. I never took ballet seriously again after that day. I left, and I was planning my world tour.

Gwen was always my first influence. I was 7 years old begging for braces and pink hair. My parents were like, you’re 7, you don’t need braces yet, and you’re not getting pink hair.

Since being out on your own, have you done the pink hair?

Yeah. I hated it. I can’t be anything but blonde.

Paula Abdul

I put Paula in here because she was a Laker Girl, and I know you have a incredibly strong love of a sports team.

I love a few. I have an order. I love watching hockey, so my number one is the Pittsburgh Penguins, number two is the Dallas Stars, and number three is the Rangers.

We’re sitting here in NYC and you just picked Pittsburgh and Dallas over the Rangers.

A friend of mine – now that a lot of SoulCycle riders know that I love watching hockey, if they have tickets they offer them to me if they can’t go, and it’s so kind and generous – sent me to a Rangers vs. Dallas game on a Monday night, and Dallas was so sharp on the ice.

I admire greatness. That means they worked hard.

Speaking of greatness … Sid the Kid, you might like him a little bit?

Oh I love him. I think he’s such a champion. I decided I was a Penguins fan before the repeat Stanley Cup. They hadn’t been in the Stanley Cup finals in a few years. I sat down (at a game), and I said to myself, if Sidney Crosby scores this OT goal then I’m a Penguins girl, and as soon as I said it out loud he threw the puck into the net and the game was over.

Was this a pro wrestling moment, like you had a Rangers shirt on and you ripped it off to reveal a Penguins shirt?

No, I was in a Rangers-heavy section of the Garden.

I tried to let it simmer. I have an obsessive personality, when I like something I LOVE it, so the Penguins obsession started. That year they went to the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Because of you.

Obviously. I was a good luck charm.

Then I went through a really terrible terrible breakup. It was very public. It was really messy, and it was all over social media.

Did it happen to inspire a recent song of yours?

Yes it did, and it also involved barstools, which is why it’s called “Pull Up a Barstool.”

Did you Keith Murray somebody? Did you pick up a chair hit him with it?

I wish.

Today is one year to the day, and how far I’ve come in a year … I realize now that I wanted things I didn’t know I wanted, because now I have better things in my life.

It’s hard to let doors close, it really is, but if you can lock them, and wait for another one to open, you’re better off.

At that time the Penguins were on their way to the Stanley Cup Finals, and I was like, I know that if they win the Stanley Cup I’m going to be OK. They won, and I was fine.

For more Paige Howell, follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:00 AM   0 comments
Pop Shots – Solid Advice
Monday, March 19, 2018

Welcome to your weekly dose of pop world musings. Covering all things pop culture, this week Pop Shots is hitting you with thoughts on everything from where Iggy Azalea’s love life should take her next, to the best way to score tickets to see Beyoncé and Jay-Z, to what Selena Gomez should consider when it comes to designing her clothing line, and since this is Pop Shots you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.

* During the most recent episode of Tyler Henry’s Hollywood Medium, Iggy Azalea revealed she’s done dating hip-hop artists, saying there’s only room for one rapper in a relationship. OK, cool, soooo what about dating a music journalist? Perhaps a music journalist with a really cool blog who still has no shame in blasting “Fancy” from his car with the windows down? As luck has it, I happen to know someone who fits that exact description! {winks at self in mirror}

* Billboard has discovered that one of the bodyguards in Taylor Swift’s video for “Delicate” is played by a gay porn actor named Kevin Falk. This type of casting is becoming a trend for Swift, as gay porn actor Mike de Marko was briefly featured the the video for “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Who else is suddenly really curious about Taylor’s internet history?

* Billed as The Coverups, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt, along with touring guitarist Jason White, audio engineer Chris Dugan (drums), and tour manager Bill Schneider (bass), rocked a 90 minute set of covers at the 100-person capacity venue Thee Parkside in San Francisco. In a related story, Creed is performing somewhere under a pseudonym, as well, but mostly because they don’t want anyone to know they’re Creed.

* Beyoncé and Jay-Z are once again hitting the road together, this time for the On The Run II tour. Because clearly the duo are wallowing in poverty, if you want to be anywhere near the stage it will cost you well over $1,000. Your best bet might be to get a doctor to claim it’s a medical necessity, so at least some of the cost will be taken care of by your health insurance.

* Jhene Aiko and Big Sean took to social media to squash the rumors that their relationship is in trouble, with Aiko tweeting, “Sorry, but nothing about you guy's fan fiction stories are true... I still love you tho.” Sean retweeted the post, adding clapping hands emojis for emphasis, because nothing says “healthy, adult, relationship” like emojis. (everyone knows grown ups use gifs)

* Fred Durst is currently filming his third feature film, a thriller titled Moose that stars John Travolta as an obsessed movie fan who stalks his favorite actor, played by Devon Sawa. The story is reportedly based on events from Durst's life, as it’s inspired by a time he had to deal with a stalker. This makes me wonder, exactly how many poor life decisions are wrapped up in the phrase “Fred Durst’s stalker”?

* Dua Lipa was forced to cancel two shows on her current tour of Australia due to wisdom teeth issues that required immediate surgery. Here at Pop Shots we have exclusive footage of Dua immediately following the procedure.

* Juelz Santana was arrested on drug and weapon charges last week, two days after the rapper fled a Newark airport after TSA discovered a loaded gun in his carry-on bag. In other words, Juelz was able to “dip dip,” but he wasn’t “set set” for the repercussions once caught.

* Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds is launching a publishing company with music executive Jason Murray, titled Good Vibes Music Group. Through the company’s website they’re currently accepting applications for their Discovery Song Camps, which will take place in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Nashville, and London, with eight producers and songwriters being selected from each location. Just imagine if someone selected goes on to write for Broadway shows, wins a Tony, and becomes Rich from this Project.

* Selena Gomez, who has been collaborating with Coach since last fall designing handbags and accessories, will now be designing a clothing collection for the company. As a highly fashionable guy I just have one piece of advice for Selena – rip the sleeves off of everything. Hey, you know my motto …

* With “Believer,” “Thunder,” and now “Whatever It Takes,” Imagine Dragons’ Evolve has become the first album of this decade to generate at least three #1 songs on Billboard’s Alternative Songs airplay chart. The band owes a debt of gratitude to whoever placed all those songs in car commercials, and college football promos.

* Evanescence and Lindsey Stirling will be hitting the road together with a full orchestra for a 31-date co-headlining North American tour that kicks off on July 6th in Kansas City, Missouri. Let me just say right now I would love to cover this tour when it hits my city.

* In sad news, rapper Craig Mack passed away at the age of 46. The remix to “Flava In Ya Ear” remains a mainstay in party playlists nearly a quarter century after its release, so it’s safe to say that even though he’s gone, he will never be forgotten.

And with that, my time is up for the week, but I'll be back next week with more shots on all things pop.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:00 AM   0 comments
Vid Pick: Fjer – Awesome (Acoustic)
Friday, March 16, 2018

The first time I heard Danish electro-soul-pop artist Fjer I immediately fell in love with her voice. As I've written a number of times, it’s nothing short of angelic.

If you have any doubts, check out this stripped down version of her latest single, “Awesome,” and try to tell me she isn’t hiding wings under her t-shirt.

Wanting to know more about “Awesome,” I caught up with Fjer to ask her about the song, and what qualities she feels makes a person awesome. We also discussed her love of ‘90s fashion, and some of her hidden talents.

What was the inspiration for “Awesome”?

I wrote a note to my self almost two years ago that just said “Awesome.” I was feeling small and unappreciated, and thought to myself, “You have to remember that you’re awesome.”

It took me a while, but I finally sat down and wrote a song about that feeling. Now the song has become an anthem for me and my friends, and I tell them all the time how awesome they are. 

What are the top three qualities a person can have that you would consider awesome?

Many little things can add up to a person being awesome, but I guess if I’m picking just three it would be a person who is strong, funny, and warm. That pretty much sums up the personalities of my best friends.

I have a lot of strong women in my life, and I feel so inspired by them every day.

And of course, being the clown that I am, I need funny people around me to laugh at my dad jokes, and answer with an even dumber joke. {laughs}

What made you want to do an acoustic version of the song?

I feel like the melody and the message of the song is very important.

When you strip all the electronic synths, and the heavy beat, off the original, you're left with a very clean and simple song.

I generally love to make songs that work in many different production settings, and I wanted to make sure everybody could enjoy this song.

In the video you’re wearing a t-shirt featuring labelmate Lucy Camp. I hear there’s more than a little bit of mutual musical love between you two. Any chance you might be working on an EP, or full length album, together?

Oh my God, I freaking love her. That t-shirt I had specially made because I originally wanted to rock one of those throwback shirts that you see everywhere – as you know, I'm stuck in the ‘90s {laughs} – and I thought instead of wearing a generic one with like Destiny's Child, or whatever, I would make my own with an idol I really adore.

Lucy Camp is one of the most inspiring, bad-ass female artists out there, so she ended up on the shirt.

We are always working on new music together, so you'll definitely hear more collabs in the future.

After an extended stay in the US you moved back to Denmark last year. First off, we miss you. Second, how has the move affected your music, your motivation, and your goals?

I miss New York every day, but I will say that the move to Denmark has made me much more focused. There aren't as many distractions here, and I really have been my most productive self these last few months.

I'm seeing it as an opportunity to finish my album. More news on that soon!

I know you’re mildly obsessed with ‘90s fashion, so how much did it hurt when, earlier this year, JNCO announced they were going out of business?

{laughs} You know me too well.

I actually didn't hear that. Now I'm crying inside. Guess I gotta go thrifting.

What are some of your favorite pieces of ‘90s clothing in your closet?

My UFO pants – they were so hard to track down! – my beret collection, and all my crop tops. And of course this new Lucy shirt is something I'll rock a lot this spring.

Finally, tell everyone about a skill you have that people may not know about.

I can sound EXACTLY like a dolphin, and I cook pretty good vegetarian food.

On a more serious note, I do a lot of photography, and video stuff, and I've been busy making visuals for Lucy Camp, Tonedeff, and my friend Emilia James over the last couple of years. You'll see more of that soon.

For more Fjer, check out fjermusic.com.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:00 AM   0 comments
NYC Scene Report – The Shacks, Bambara, & more
Wednesday, March 14, 2018

This week’s NYC Scene Report features dream pop outfit The Shacks developing quite a following, indie rockers Bambara singing the story of a man named Jose, a rock tune from Typhoid Rosie that draws inspiration from a Greek epic poem, and hip-hop artist Khary dealing with the idea of feeling “Cursed.”

* As some of you may already know, I have a thing for great dream pop that features breathy vocals. This is why I’m always happy when something new from The Shacks shows up in my inbox. Most recently, the band’s latest single, “Follow Me,” made such an appearance, and while the song’s release has been nearly two years in the making, it was well worth the wait.

“Follow Me,” which was produced by Leon Michels (of El Michels Affair), was one of the first songs The Shacks recorded for their upcoming album, Haze, which is due out March 30th on Big Crown Records.

Shannon Wise’s ethereal vocals have a magical quality to them – some folks may recognize her from last year’s iPhone 8 commercial – and her croons to follow her have a Pied Piper-like effect, as resistance to her musical charms seems futile … and why would you want to resist anyway?

Click play on “Follow Me,” and follow The Shacks.

* Sometimes a singular line in a song sticks with you. Such was the case for me the first time I heard Bambara’s “Jose Tries To Leave,” which features the line, “He’s kind of strange she thinks / Yeah but so is love.”

It felt incredibly poetic, and almost like something you’d read/hear from the Beat Generation. Plus, have truer words ever been spoken?

The song, which vividly tells the story of a man named Jose, is off of the NYC, via Georgia, indie rock trio’s upcoming album, Shadow on Everything, due out April 6th on Wharf Cat Records.

Give the song a spin. I guarantee you won’t try to leave.

* How can you not immediately like a band named Typhoid Rosie? You have to at least be curious about them, right?

Here’s the good news, the Brooklyn-based indie rock band is just as great as their name.

Their latest single is “Sailing On," which is off of their upcoming album, This Is Now. Frontwoman Rosie Rebel explains the song’s origins, saying, “It was inspired by Homer’s The Odyssey. Odysseus is faced with every obstacle, and temptation, but fights as hard as he can to get home. Life is like that – sometimes we have to endure incredible turbulence and storms. I thought about how poor Odysseus had to endure the anger of Poseidon, and all he could do was hold on to a rock while he was being pounded by the waves. He had no shelter to weather the storm, but his memories somehow carried him through those dark times. So when I wrote this song I thought about life, and all the things in it that are worth fighting for. But more than that, the song is about ‘us’ and how we should fight for it together. When we work together, there's nothing humanity can’t accomplish.”

Click play on “Sailing On,” and get inspired by Typhoid Rosie.

* NYC, by way of Rhode Island, hip-hop artist Khary is “Cursed." Don’t worry, he’s not literally cursed, that’s just the title of one of his two new singles, as he released “Cursed” alongside “Wifi” in anticipation of his upcoming project, titled Captain, due out this Spring.

Khary described “Cursed” in a statement, saying, “Sometimes we deny the help that we so desperately need, and find comfort in being alone or in a dark place. ‘Cursed’ is about (how) the fear of vulnerability can make us desire solitude even if we know that’s not what we ultimately want. It’s almost as if we are under a curse of our own creation. This is the first point at which the Captain character that I explore on the project shows weakness. ‘Cursed’ is one of the project’s heavier tracks.”

It’s heavy, and it's really dope. Give “Cursed” a spin, and break through the darkness.

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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