5 Soulful Singles to Inspire You on a Drab Day

Heart Society

“Rocket”

Teneia Sanders-Eichelberger and Benjamin Eichelberger, the married duo behind Heart Society, called the Valley home not too long ago and they have the Phoenix New Times awards to prove it. In 2015, they cashed out and bought a trailer to take their musical message to the road. Fast forward a few years and Heart Society emerged from Mississippi with their rock-fueled soul-sound. “Rocket” comes to us from the duo’s forthcoming release, Wake the Queens, which is due out later this week!

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Lando Chill + The Lasso

“Golden”

Lando Chill (who won our award for Best HipHop Album in 2017) is back without another innovative approach to the genre. For māyā. maia. mayu, which came on February 2, Lando Chill teamed up with another Tucson artist, The Lasso. A mellow musicality sets the atmospheric vibe for the lyrical ruminations. “Golden” is only the first track on māyā. maia. mayu so start here but don’t stop. Meander through the six songs on this EP when you have time to leisurely lay back and indulge the listening experience.

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Jareth

“Kaleidoscope”

The London-based vocalist Jareth has shared “Kaleidoscope”, the first single from her debut solo EP. Jareth’s voice has a ponderous heft to it as she guides the listeners through a dreamy, if overcast, aural landscape. What else should one expect when an artist plumbs “the depths of one’s subconsciousness” for creativity and clarity. Moonchild, Jareth’s new EP, is due out later this year through Moonshot Records so follow the artist to stay up-to-date on the new EP.

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DAVESTATEOFMIND

“Pull Up”

Houston’s David Byers makes music under the moniker DAVESTATEOFMIND. The singer-songwriter-rapper brings all this talents together on his new single, “Pull Up”. Combining HipHop and Soul, DAVESTATEOFMIND offers a chill take on modern romance. This is a new artist on the R&B scene but some wave-making potential is definitely there.

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Sophie Faith x Midnight Phunk

“Say So”

We have another team up project. This one comes from London songbird, Sophie Faith, and Midnight Phunk. “Say So” keeps the instrumental end interesting without cluttering the soundscape which gives Faith plenty of breathing room for her spacious vocals. And, as the lyrics takes a reflective look at a relationship now lost, the emotive energy feels authentic in its delivery on this Jazz-Soul fusion.

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5 New + Eclectic Indie Singles

by Carly Schorman

UPSAHL

“Kiss Me Now”

Fair warning: UPSAHL’s last single was stuck in my head for 17 days. Seventeen! That’s how catchy her brand of indie pop is; it will infect your brain. “Kiss Me Now” is a bit less candy-coated but no less compelling. Addressing that awkward quandary of how to approach that first date kiss, UPSAHL takes a sassy and assertive role on this single while Max Frost’s production keeps things playful by adding more bounce than bite. “Kiss Me Now” by UPSAHL is playlist ready just in time for Valentine’s Day.

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Mt. Joy

“Jenny Jenkins”

Ugh. You just can’t be cynical when listening to the sounds of Mt. Joy. “Jenny Jenkins”, not to be confused with the Jerry Garcia and David Grisman song of the same title, does have some of its predecessor’s old-fashioned sensibility, but Mt. Joy’s single has a far more emotional edge. This track comes to us from the band’s forthcoming debut so make sure you like/follow Mt. Joy to stay up-to-date on that release.

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Warming

“White Lies”

Brady Allard is the man behind Winnipeg’s indie-pop act, Warming. Bright synth hues set the soundscape of “White Lies” while the lyrics tackle relational issues like infidelity, poor lifestyle choices, and the little lies that accompany these decisions. “White Lies” is the first single from the 12-track LP Allard created after casting off the encumberments of suburban life (the house, the job, and even the partner) to embark on a songwriting journey.

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GYASI

“All Messed Up”

GYASI is the undertaking of a West Virginia artist who grew up thinking he was a peacock. What other profession could possibly be waiting for such a lad in this world, but the frontman of a glam-infused indie-rock band? “All Messed Up” is a feisty single that kicks off the band’s debut EP, Peacock Fantasies.  I’m digging this lively modge podge of glam, psych, and retro rock from GYASI.

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Gillwire

“Waiting for You”

The Phoenix songwriter known as Gillwire just dropped another installment of his musical narrative on Feb. 1st. “Waiting for You” comes to us from Grand Biography, Vol. 2; Gillwire’s new 9-track album. This single delves the complications of an awkward courtship with a “squirrely boy” with ample humor and good spirits. If you enjoy coffee shop pop in the vein of artists like Ben Folds, you should consider Grand Biography, Vol. 2 for your next “read”.

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5 Mellow New Singles

by Carly Schorman

Edwin

“I’m Only Gone”

“I’m Only Gone” is the sweeping closer to Edwin’s 4-track EP, You Have No Idea, Man. Clocking in at more than six minutes, Edwin will take you on an introspective journey through the ups and downs of relationships with an honesty that I think people of both genders should really take in because Edwin, intentionally or otherwise, hits upon the one of the biggest impediments to relationships in the modern era. Listen to “I’m Only Gone” to see if you can root it out for yourself before I send my essay to HuffPost.

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Kyle Cox

“Somewhere in Between”

Fans of the Avett Brothers should spend a little time with Kyle Cox and “Somewhere in Between”. The song’s narrative is poignantly listless and, once you listen to the lyrics, you’ll really get what I mean there. The gently moving Americana supporting the lyrics will warm you to new possibilities and leave you, dare I say, hopeful. “Somewhere in Between” marks the first single from Kyle Cox’s forthcoming LP (due out in May). I expect good things from this Nashville-based songwriter.

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Vern Matz

“Shelby Park”

Vern Matz is the undertaking of three Yale undergrads who somehow found the time to craft a 6-track s/t debut which just dropped in January. “Shelby Park” is a personal favorite from the new release. The band manages to capture that feeling of melancholy comfort one finds in overcast mornings while the pensive lyrics convey a coming-of-age sensibility that just about anyone can relate to. If you dig “Shelby Park” as much as I do, make sure to delve the complete EP from Vern Matz on Spotify.

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Georgee Landy

“Half the Ish”

UK songwriter Georgee Landy takes a look at love in the Post-Human era on this Hiphop-infused number. “Half the Ish” addresses young love from Landy’s 21st Century perspective. Bex Grant provides backing vocals on this track and adds to the kickback vibe that pervades the single. Rumor has it Georgee Landy has more singles on the horizon so jump on the fan-wagon before he breaks big.

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John Burnette

“Live and Let Me Love You from Here”

This singer-songwriter from Little Rock combines jazz and folk for this bourbon smooth single. “Live and Let Me Love You from Here” takes a stripped down approach on the instrumental end to give space to the pensive lyricism of John Burnette. If you like low-lit bars and slow-burning songs, check out “Live and Let Me Love You from Here”.

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5 Feisty New Singles to Amp Up Your Week

by Carly Schorman

Freaks of Nature

“Want Me!”

The Freaks of Nature are gearing up for a slick new 45 they’ll be releasing this year through Related Records. The Phoenix band crafts some serious 60s garage rock grit for you 21st Century listeners who want to harken back to an earlier era of music-making, the days of minidresses and wood-paneled sedans. Make sure you stick around for “Now You Say We’re Through”. Truth be told, I might prefer the B-Side track just a smidge.

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Sunday At Noon

“Honey”

Sunday At Noon reaches for arena-rock power on their latest single, “Honey”, and they don’t fall short. This new track definitely demonstrates that this band is ready for the stadium-size crowds. Fans who have caught Sunday At Noon can vouch that it’s not the studio punches that brings “Honey” to life but you can head out to Pub Rock on April 13th to catch the band live with Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and find out for yourself (tickets here).

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Bummerville

“Time it Takes”

Bummerville is gearing up for the release of their debut LP on Graveface Records later this month. Gritty garage punk and a devil-could-care vocal delivery pair up perfectly on “Time it Takes”. The single might clock in at under two minutes, but it was enough to secure my interest in diving into Bottom Feeder from Bummerville when it comes out on the 26th of this month.

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People’s Blues of Richmond

“Cocaine Powder”

Get ready for the prog-rock powerhouse that is the People’s Blues of Richmond. PBR might only count three players in its ranks, but you’ll swear they have a circus-tent full of musicians to get the amped up sound you’ll hear on “Cocaine Powder”. Or, maybe the song’s narrative topic is more than just a funny story…. Anyway, People’s Blues of Richmond originally released an acoustic version of this song on their album Good Time Suicide, but they decided to revisit with some electrifying folk-punk energy and I’m certainly glad they did.

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ParkBench

“GroovyLove”

“GroovyLove” is the opening song from ParkBench’s 3-track s/t debut which came out in December. Despite the hippie leanings suggested by the title, ParkBench has some suburban garage punk angst that comes through on the instrumental end of this song more than in the lyrics. If you like your punkrock lofi and rowdy, check out GroovyLove by ParkBench from Gilbert [AZ].

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5 Eclectic Indie Singles You Have to Hear

by Carly Schorman

Sure Sure

Giants

That mild chill in the air has me thinking wistful springtime thoughts and this new single from Sure Sure isn’t helping matters in the least. The airy feel of this buoyant new track has me thinking about ditching the boots and sweaters for some popsicles and sunglasses decorated with plastic flamingos. “Giants” will bolster your energy level and zap those winter blues. Sure Sure released “Giants” in prelude to their s/t album which came out this month (available here). You can catch the band live at the Van Buren this week (1/27).

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Lauren Ruth Ward

“Sideways”

Lauren Ruth Ward is the sassy chanteuse who secured our eternal fandom last year with singles like “Well, Hell” and “Blue Collar Sex Kitten”. Next month marks the release of Ward’s much anticipated debut LP. The songwriter said “Sideways” is “an anthem for those who get lost while acclimating to a new life.” But, I consider it a rallying cry for all late-bloomers (like myself) and everyone else who decided to carve out their own goddamn path, even if it might look sideways to most folks.

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Foresteater

“Avalanche”

Forester is the brainchild of singer-songwriter Mikey Pro; a project sprung from his mind after dreaming of a “band playing on an island in outer space, surrounded by electric rainbows”. Once you hear the candy-coated grunge of Foresteater, that last sentence might be a bit easier to digest. There’s something playful and melodic to the song, no matter how serious the lyrical subject. That’s a counterbalance I definitely love.

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 s//p

“head on backwards”

This indie-electro act known as s//p (pronounced “slip”) just had their debut performance in November but they’re already generating quite a buzz around their sound. Just out the gate and s//p debuted “head on backwards” with buzzbands.la. S//p applies a postmodern industrial spin to the soundscape while the lyrics on “head on backwards” address dilemmas we’re all facing in this posthuman era.

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Haley Green

“Pretty Boy”

That local sultry songbird, Haley Green, is back with a new single. “Pretty Boy” came out last Fall but it somehow flew past our radar unnoticed… until now. This new track features the members of Scattered Melodies on the rhythm section and a few other Zonies including Laura Hamlin, KC Barras, and Jesse Morrison. If you haven’t spent time with the smooth but sizzling voice of Haley Green (who formerly performed under the moniker Ruca), you are missing out. Big time. Fix that with “Pretty Boy”.

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5 Promising Songwriters You Should Know

by Carly Schorman

Justin Moody

“Cowgirl”

This single comes to us from Justin Moody’s forthcoming album, Bruiser, due out in a few short days. The Phoenix songwriter has made a name for himself for his slow and somber style. Moody’s songs approach the listener as if in a dream: hazy and lazy. “Cowgirl” offers Justin Moody fans a wee sampling of what’s to come from Bruiser later this week so stay tuned for that release.

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Micah McCaw

“Tearing Seams”

Micah McCaw shapes out his unique indie-folk sound amid the hills of Southern Oregon. On his latest single, “Tearing Seams”, McCaw combines vocal and instrumental layers to an orchestral effect and the result is powerful. But at the root of it all is the heart of a folk songwriter-songwriter and that really comes through on “Tearing Seams”.

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Monica Riskey

“Hot Cocoa”

What do you do if you’re visiting home over winter break from college and end up snowed in? Well, if you’re Monica Riskey, you pour yourself some hot cocoa and write a laidback winter tune. “Hot Cocoa” has an RnB flow that matches the mood: cold weather and the longing for some hawt company. There’s a lot of promise here. I can’t wait to see what Monica Riskey does when she’s no longer trapped by a snowstorm.

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Daniel Ruiz

“A Cup of Coffee with Two Sugar Cubes, Cream, and a Tiny Drop of Whiskey”

The lofi single from Daniel Ruiz has a bit of Leonard Cohen quality. That sense arises not only from Ruiz’s deep, slightly monotone voice, but from the casual storytelling aspect in the songwriting. Daniel Ruiz might be living in Barcelona but he definitely has a Village avant garde style that carries through in his Autumn single, “A Cup of Coffee with Two Sugar Cubes, Cream, and a Tiny Drop of Whiskey”.

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Harrison Hufman

2017 

Local experimental songwriter Harrison Hufman released this brief collection of new tracks to mark the close of 2017. If played together, the three songs slide in at under four minutes starting with the chill number, “when im with u”. The songs move into stranger waters from there with the instrumental “supersoaked brain” and the sludgy closer, “lost”. There’s a lot more than promising happening on 2017. There are some definite moves toward shaping out new sounds and that’s pretty rad. Here’s hoping Hufman keeps it pushing in 2018 too.

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5 Soulful New Singles

Carlos Arzate

“Broken Glass”

“Broken Glass” is the first single from Carlos Arzate’s forthcoming release, Camaleon. The Tucson songwriter went back to soulful music of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke to find the right tones for this latest endeavor and the end result is powerful.  A moving declamation for this era of protest, “Broken Glass” is a promising teaser for what’s to come from Arzate this year.

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Shalyah Fearing

“I’ll Get Over You”

Florida’s Shalyah Fearing might still be a teenager, but her smoldering voice is powerful enough to make you forget that. “I’ll Get Over You” showcases Fearing’s old-school soulful style beautifully. On this track, you’ll find all the anguishing heartache you want from a breakup ballad.

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Dan Caplen

“Two Fingers”

We got your radio-ready R&B jam right here with Dan Caplen’s “Two Fingers”. I’m not going to tell just which fingers Caplen has in mind, but I will say this single can help up your sass level when you’re recovering from a trust violation. There’s plenty of chutzpah in this number that will have you busting out the club moves wherever you might be listening. This London songmaker is one to watch.

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AfriCali

“TOUGHT TO A CULTIRE”

AfriCali definitely moves things away from Motown’s sense of Soul to a whole different continent. Combining psych-rock, blues, and 1970s Ethiopian music for a World Music slant on Soul, AfriCali will worm its way into your brain and demand a revisit (or several).

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KAPRII

“Toys”

Jamaican-born, Ohio-raised Jean-Marie Kapreese Peart might be better known by her stage name, KAPRII. The singer-songwriter got an early start, recording her first single at only 17. Her new single, “Toys”, has a chill vibe and a somber view on love for one so young, but the aloof air adds to the coolness factor. This is the track for those of us riding out the winter with hearts “on lockdown”.

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5 Flavors of Folk

by Carly Schorman

Dan Michaelson

“Careless”

Get ready to get your heartbroken. Dan Michaelson doesn’t hold back the hurt on his new track, “Careless”. Michaelson (formerly of The Coastguards) released his debut solo album, First Light, in December and “Careless” comes to us from that effort. I don’t know if it’s the simple fact that we have all experienced loss through our own carelessness or if it’s Michaelson’s voice itself that really bites down to the bone. It’s probably the pairing of the two – the anguished vocals and poignant lyricism – that makes “Careless” an instant favorite for me.

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koleżanka

Some 3am Demos

It seemed a shame to break up this two track demo by choosing one song over the other for feature. So we didn’t. Some 3am Demos by koleżanka features the song “Back to Your Place” followed by “A Stranger Now”. The songs fit together well although there is definitely a change in tone (and temperature) between the two. The instrumentation is stark but expressively so; uncluttered, like easygoing afternoon thoughts on a warm, but not too warm, day. koleżanka sounds like the future of folk to me: pensive and abstract, emotive without confines, sorta like the floating fields of color in a Rothko painting.

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Toledo

“Hesperus”

Toledo (from Boston, not Toledo) recently dropped a new single, “Hesperus”, in anticipation of their forthcoming album, Saint Sebastian. The four-piece crafts dreamy, orchestral indie-folk that builds to encompass the listener in a sea of vibrant sound so don’t start thinking that the constraint of the first two minutes holds throughout the track. A promising start for the album to come. Saint Sebastian is due out next month so jump on that social media to keep track of Toledo and join us in the wait for the rest of the album in February.

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red steppes

“Bixby” 

red steppes is the musical moniker of S.F. Bay Area singer-songwriter, Nika States and “Bixby”was written in honor of the Bixby Bridge in Big Sur. Now that we’ve geographically situated the single, let’s discuss the earthy Midwestern warmth of Nika States’ voice against the relaxed Cali melody  that what made the song really come to life for me.  Check out “Bixby” below and then head over to Bandcamp to check out “Rampages Eastward” (her new new new single).

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Rosie Carney

“Winter”

This song is like a cheery fire on a snowy winter’s night. For desert rats like me, Rosie Carney has the power to transport you to distantly chilly locales. For others in colder climates, like the Irish singer-songwriter herself, “Winter” will offer the companionship of a warm blanket or enthralling book during the longest nights of the year. The track carries the blush of romanticism one might expect of a 20-year-old songwriter, but it works perfectly when delivered in Carney’s mellifluous voice.

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Editors’ 2017 Favorites [Spotify Playlists]

spotify playlistAs you may or may not know, two senior editors sit behind the helm of YabYum and, every year, they sort through thousands and thousands (and thousands) of songs to bring you new music every day.

Oftentimes, we ask the YabYum Staff to choose a favorite album for the year, but we decided to do things a little bit differently and make a playlist of our favorite songs from 2017.

Check out Carly + Mark’s favorites and then comment (or message us) about which list you prefer. After all, our editors are married so they’ve been bickering about whose list is the best list. Only you can help us decide…

Carly’s 2017 Favorites

Mark’s 2017 Favorites

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YabYum’s 2017 Favorites [Spotify Playlist]

2017 Favorites Not on Spotify

YabYum’s 2017 Favorites [Spotify Playlist]

spotify 500Over the years we’ve been in operation, we’ve tried some different approaches to our annual awards. This year, we’re going for something totally new to kick off a year of new things at YabYum.

So, first thing’s first, we’ve launched our Spotify platform and, to get us started, we have compiled a list of our favorite 50 tracks of 2017.

FYI for everyone reading this: The editors will be posting their personal picks tomorrow so stayed tuned. Until then, check out our playlist of YabYum’s 2017 Favorites and don’t forget to follow us on Spotify to stay up-to-date on our forthcoming playlists…

YabYum’s 2017 Favorites

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Editors’ 2017 Favorites [Spotify Playlists]

2017 Favorites Not on Spotify