Swiss rocker Marty McKay will be releasing his sophomore album, New York City Dreams, later this month. After the indie success of his first album, Sin’s Disciple, McKay decided to return with the same passion, genre-bending rock and personal take on life and focus it on New York, one of McKay’s great loves. He’s released two singles in advance of the album thus far: “Empire Town” and “Escape”, for which there is now a video.
Marty McKay’s style of rock is very clean and well-produced, and it cannot generally be assigned to any one sub-genre. A little emo, a little shoegaze, some 80s power guitar, McKay does an excellent job of blending all the best parts of many different rock styles. With the new single, “Escape”, McKay leans more towards emo than he previously has, but still with his big, bold production style. The guitar riff on this track, while clean and emotive, is definitely in the key or emo punk, and his vocals are simple and clear. Emo fans will definitely enjoy “Escape” because of these elements, but they are not so emo that other rock fans will get irritated or find the track whiny. “Escape” has just enough emo for the subject matter of the lyrics, but enough other rock elements – such as clear punk drums and some shoegaze guitar dissonance – that his less eyeliner-wearing fans will still enjoy it.
Big, bold production is also present in the video for “Escape”, with heavy colors and deep contrasts. Largely directed and produced by McKay himself, the video is frankly a little confusing. While beautifully done, it is unclear if the character McKay is playing in the video is some sort of stalker, or a more formless agent of chaos, wreaking havoc in women’s lives. Based on the lyrics, he could be either. Given the theme of McKay’s album, however, he may represent the dangerous nature of being a single female in New York, or some sort of emo guardian angel for them. Click the Youtube player below to come up with your own opinion.
Enigmatic video or not, “Escape” and truly the rest of New York City Dreams are another rock triumph for Marty McKay and should be recognized as a testament to rock’s staying power when it’s done right, even in EDM and pop land. New York City Dreams releases on February 24 and can be pre-ordered via itunes now. Also available to stream on McKay’s Soundcloud page is the album’s first single, “Empire Town”.