From a journalistic integrity point of view, I should not be reviewing the debut New Man album, Sings. The record was released on yk Records and that’s my label. So, the amount of bias involved here is overwhelming. You could call this payola but no one’s getting paid at WOTT, so it’s more like nepotism.
With that in mind, I can subjectively tell you that this is eight songs of smart, witty, pop songs. The term “pop” (and it’s sub-genre Power Pop) often have a, much deserved, reputation for being overly simplistic, shallow expressions of a formula. Sings is not that. The songs are catchy, upbeat and memorable – as a pop song should be – but the layers of dense instrumentation, rich vocal harmonies and surprising flourishes make it surpass any detrimental feelings about the genre.
Listening to the title track “EP” and first single “Maybe I’m Feelin’ Fine”, it should be clear that New Man has a Beach Boys influence. Specifically, there’s a “everything including the kitchen sink” approach to many of these songs that somehow manages to keep itself from becoming a total aural circus.
All bias aside, you can judge it for yourself by giving it a stream or swinging by The 5 Spot tonight (Oct 12th) to see them perform it live.