The NYC band of transplants presents a track-by-track breakdown of their debut album—”a lament of youth as much as it is a Zoltar machine casting a future fortune of the unknown”


There’s an unspoken understanding among those who make the decision to move to New York, something that we all—no matter where we came from or what we came for—have in common.

New York does, after all, does attract a particular, and often peculiar, sort. The creative and innovative, the energetic and ambitious, the freaky and the feral. Those who would rather struggle in the city than suffocate in the suburbs, who have dreams that are a bit too big… and screws that might be a little too loose… to survive, or at least thrive, anywhere else.

A move to NYC is one made with intention, out of a desire for something different, something more. And once you’ve found your place, well that’s where—and when—you find your people.

That brings me to NYC band Real Burn, whose debut album Destiny Is Too Hard (out everywhere tomorrow) is not just a result of musicians moving to the city and meeting each other, but also—at its core—a celebration of it. A story of four artists from different corners of the country who were drawn by the city’s music scene, and arrived full of passion and purpose. A piece of work from individuals who were looking for change, met by chance and then moved forward by choice, forming not just a band but a bond on the way.

In other words: A NYC success story in the sweetest sense of the word.

“The album title is unintentionally oxymoronic,” Real Burn told me of their very rad record over email. “We formed in a serendipitous way. Meeting each other at shows, cafes, and a music video shoot after all recently moving from different parts of the country felt natural. Destiny Is Too Hard is a lament of youth as much as it is a Zoltar machine casting a future fortune of the unknown.”

A day ahead of its release, rom Real Burn, this is Destiny Is Too Hard.

Because, much like a love story, I always find a band’s meet-cute t obe both interesting and inspiring, Real Burn’s exact origin, and the project’s progression, is outlined in their own words below:

“Noah Swanson (vocals, guitar) met Charlie Markowiak (guitar) one night at the Broadway (Ovlov was playing). The Bushwick haunt is where they later played their first gig as Real Burn, with Sumner Bright (bass) in tow. Kota Young (drums) joined last, completing the lineup as the band finished recording their first album, Destiny Is Too Hard and began finding their feet in the scene that brought them together.”

Of course, while we’ve been focusing primarily on the artists’ relationship, DITH isn’t just the audio equivalent of a big band friendship bracelet or a 23-minute acknowledgement of the fates, or perhaps moreso the music scene, that brought the artists together. And though Real Burn is definitely a New York band, the ideas and feelings explored on the album certainly aren’t exclusive to our community. Over the course of the record, the band covers concepts that not just New Yorkers but 20/30-somethings in land-locked square states can surely relate to as well, as we all individually, yet collectively, deal with the complexities of the ongoing, inevitable experience that is… well, growing up. And ahead of the release, Real Burn offered their thoughts, from themes to names, on each of the album’s seven songs.



“This one started as a voice memo labeled ‘Dookie B-Side’. We ended up calling it ‘Green Day’ for the first three months. It evolved into the song that we started opening our shows with and naturally, the first song on the album.”

“Free Paint”

“Peak through your rose-colored glasses every once in a while but don’t make them your go-to pair.”

“Drip Dry”

“Skinny dipping.”

“Sick Brain”

“A few of these tracks started life on a baritone guitar. ‘Sick Brain’ stayed that way. It’s our dark horse.”


“The ups and downs of self-medication.”


“Affectionately named after Noah’s… amp, the Vox AC-30 CC2. Alternately, an acronym for Charles Chainsaw times two.”


“The clarity of growing old is a double-edged sword.”

Celebrate Real Burn’s record release—a glorious example of artists making the most of their move to this city, for the fulfillment of themselves and, as a bonus, the enjoyment of us all—when the band hits Trans-Pecos FRIDAY NIGHT with BALACLAVA, Dog Lips, and Plant Fight. Grab your tickets here.

While I can’t guarantee you’ll meet your bandmates in the crowd, the bathroom or the bar line (that’s up to destiny, baby!), I can promise you that the music itself is going to be absolutely sick.

That’s not fortune; it’s just facts. See ya there~


Follow Real Burn at @realburnnyc, buy music on Bandcamp and add the songs to your Spotify playlists!

Feature image (provided by the band): Em Ash

Leave a Reply