Last March I had the opportunity to film the 5th anniversary concert from Contemporaneous, one of New York's premier ensembles and creative outlets for performing new music from young artists of all stripes. It was a fantastic show (most of which you can view here). The final piece of the program was the one that caught my attention the most, however. It was a song-cycle just a tick over a half hour by multi-instrumentalist Finnegan Shanahan that was a perfectly enticing blend of indie pop/rock along the likes of Grizzly Bear, Owen Pallett, Mutual Benefit, and Andrew Bird with grand symphonic and modern classical embellishment. At the time of the concert it had just been announced that the piece was picked up by NYC indie classical label New Amsterdam Records (a personal favorite of mine for some of the most forward-thinking music out there).
That piece, The Two Halves, was officially announced by New Amsterdam last week and will be released in February. Furthermore, the trailer for the album featured on New Am's website and elsewhere features video from that concert last year!
This is a huge honor for me as I've been following New Amsterdam pretty much since their original formation and have great respect for what they do to promote and highlight genre-bending music in NYC. More importantly, this is an incredible piece of music that I cannot recommend enough. Do yourself a favor and either pre-order the album or purchase it when it comes out February 26th. Support good independent artists and labels! As a fan of the music, someone who is an editor of a music site largely dealing with independent music, and as someone who is friends and knows many independent artists, I cannot stress enough how important support in the form of purchasing albums, listening to streams, and sharing with friends can be.