Drawing on theme such as life, love, friendship, family, with a little bit of politics thrown in, Myrlin has created an album that moves from the opening track to the next. Poet, emcee and teaching artist Myrlin Hepworth has written and performed across the United States. He also coaches the Phoenix team at Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam. There is no doubt that this cat can write – and sing, rap, and beat poet his heart out. The trick here when it comes to spoken word is the music, and lemme tell you, I’m digging it. There’s something here that will get your groove on. Hip hop, trance, and throw me some of that Motown, will you? There’s 17 tracks on the record, my favs, Don’t Ever Be Lonely, To The Rescue, a song about how music is life and visa versa, Tu Sabes Poplar Trees, part of the song is in Español, I loved that and wish there was more. Seek this artist out. You won’t be disappointed.
In my opinion, today’s Country music is so absolutely over-produced, packaged and glossy, it hardly resembles the approachable and genuine music Cash, Nelson, Cline, et al, created. Flying in the face of convention, the Here Come Cowboys’ self-titled record is a stroll down Grand Ol’ Opry lane. Great harmonies, storytelling – and yes, gimme some horns, this record is nostalgic Americana without being schmaltzy. “Back in My Bed,” “Shape of My Brow, and especially “I’ll Be Home Before You Know,” are keepers. Ya’ll.
If swing is your thing, then Medicine Tent is your cure. This six-piece band easily sounds like a whole lot more. This is desert swing, hep cats. The bass and drums will keep your moneymaker shaking, the punch of brass keeps the music swinging and Kenyata, the lead vocalist, has perfected the 40s-style vibe and yet, keeps it real without getting cartoon-y, which is real easy to do in this genre. I definitely enjoyed the live recordings that are available to stream and judging by the audience reaction, Medicine Tent has got the cure to what ails them. Listen here.
Although You Know This Moses only has two songs available on their Sound Cloud, you can hear the potential of this melodic, indie, lo-fi project Zach Wade and Casey Kyle have put together. “Mangy,” the first track, has open drums, terrific bass, and even though the song’s theme is a bit melancholy, the captivating jazz guitar hook signals hope. “Strange Beauty,” my favorite track out of the two, goes from a simple love song, with a simple melody, to a musical breakdown – a tirade of desire and hopelessness. If you don’t know this Moses, you should. Listen here.
Jen Juniper and Tres Ikner wrote, recorded, and played all the instruments on their newest release. Okay, they might have had just a little help from Steph Griffin (who played trumpet and Akayla Lee who played cello on the track “Starseed”. “Hey”, the first track on the four track release, immediately took me by surprise. The combination of Juniper and Ikner’s vocals add up to a superb re-imagined sythn pop. “Outlaw (Making The Scene)” and “Pomp and Circumstance” follows suit with a very good multi-instrumental buffet – and again, Juniper’s vocals echo a kinda early 90s dance diva vibe. “Starseed” features Ikner on lead vocal has a dance-worthy guitar lead and is a great effort. Dare you not to dance. Dare. You. Listen to Persephone’s Picnic here.