By: Lisa Davis, Contributor, Regional Music Journal
Most people probably haven’t heard of the band NEXT CItY, but all of that is about to change in the coming weeks.
The Los Angeles-based quartet is making a sonic assault on the world with the release of their debut single “Blue Star.” The lead single and accompanying music video describes the dichotomy between the lure and seduction Hollywood has over a girl’s bright dreams vs. the haunted nightmare and harsh reality she actually experiences.
For as long as he can remember, Samuel Larsen, who’s best known for his work on Glee and supporting role in the film After, has had a strong passion for real rock n’ roll music. Larsen had released his own solo pop and funk music, but he knew he wanted to do something much different with more garage rock grit. His vision began taking shape when he met guitarist Philip Paulsen.
Paulsen’s interest in music and guitar-playing peaked when he saw AC/DC’s ‘Back In Black’ video on TV. “After that,” Paulsen says, “I was obsessed with rock music and guitar playing. This became my true calling, passion, identity, and I knew what I wanted to do with my life.”
Larsen was writing “Blue Star” when he asked Paulsen for his input. “I had the riffs and lyrics for a while before I met Phil and I felt stuck like I couldn’t fully finish it, so I handed it off to Phil, and he tightened up the arrangement, added a falsetto hook in the chorus and together we added a bridge,” says Paulsen. The band’s first debut song was complete.
Larsen’s vision of writing and performing with a group then began to take shape with the addition of an unwavering rhythm section that is bassist Nick Diiorio and drummer Ben Brinckerhoff who have helped perfect the band’s brand of guitar-driven rock.
With musical influences like Death From Above 1979, The Dead Weather and Queens of the Stone Age, NEXT CIty’s music encompasses the electric energy of funk-driven pop music by taking cues from icons like Prince and Michael Jackson. The band uses their music to get people to shake off their inhibitions and dance with their catchy rhythmic hooks, soaring guitar riffs and Larsen’s smooth and mesmerizing vocals.
Larsen says, “I’ve always loved how music can make you face your feelings while also helping you escape them at the same time. I want our songs to do just that, as well as make you want to move. I want people to feel confident when our songs are on.”
NEXT CItY has a unique way of fusing their experimental energy with the modern era of rock n’ roll. With fuzzy, funk-tinged guitars and pocket beats, their sound is familiar on the ears, yet unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. They’ve created and written a record of honest and soulful tracks they hope will bring fans excitement, inspiration, escapism, and newfound energy.
“Blue Star” has been well-received by Loudwire, That Buzzing Sound and more since its release.
Their second single, “Tell Me,” is set for release on May 24 ahead of the band’s first live performances on June 5 in Los Angeles and June 11 in New York.
Lisa Davis is from Austin, Texas and Freelance Writer and Editorial Assistant for Texas Lifestyle Magazine.
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