5 Hawt HipHop Singles

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

2Reps

“Been Wild”

There’s a fun summertime feel on “Been Wild” that’s perfect for the over-25-crowd (uh, maybe over 30). You know, those of us who might have had our wild days but now we maybe just want to kickback and use all those bills we save on booze for tropical vacations. Of course, 2Reps throw enough bounce into “Been Wild” to keep the kids interested even if they haven’t crossed that “Still Wild” threshold quite yet.

Susspect

“Jelly”

At nineteen, Susspect might be a little green but you won’t be able to glean that from his new single, “Jelly”. This kid sounds pro. I mean, he’s got some serious lyrical prowess and a slick delivery. That’s a winning combo. But, right now, Susspect is doing the collegiate thing by day at Emerson so don’t start pressuring him to spit out singles faster than his schedule will permit. #StayInSchool

J. Reid Prime

“All Mine”

This slouchy single from J. Reid Prime brings a little chill to these increasingly hot days. “All Mine”, produced by Gage Green, features Sonny from Mars on the vocals. This is the first single Prime has released in a year so fans will be stoked to learn that this track is just a prelude to the artist’s forthcoming album, Braille Teeth. Roll around your city with J. Reid Prime and his single, “All Mine”.

Bad Poetry Club

“Victory Lap”

Bad Poetry Club throws out some mad energy into the mix of their new single, “Victory Lap”. BPC lays out fresh instrumentals on this single to support the wisely sparse lyrics. After all, with a beat like that, who wants to get too wordy. This is nu jazz, not your normal HipHop hit. Give “Victory Lap” by Bad Poetry Club a spin below…

Jaac

“Minutes”

Jaac recorded this track last year at the tender age of seventeen. On “Minutes”, Jaac proves you don’t always need to throw a lot down on the beat if you have the lyrical strength to carry your audience. Jaac does and you can hear that stripped-down style on “Minutes”. Let’s hope Jaac has more singles in the works this year.

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Lauren Ruth Ward

“Blue Collar Sex Kitten”

Usually it’s Lauren Ruth Ward’s sultry Americana swagger that has us all wound up, but this week it looks like Ward is ready for rowdy and rocking. “Blue Collar Sex Kitten” is the latest hit to come out the songwriting partnership between L.A.-based musicians LRW and guitarist Eduardo Rivera. There’s so much sass on this single, you’re going to want to skip it on the drive to work and save it for that cruise home… unless, of course, you want to arrive at your job ready to burn the whole fucking place down. Consider that your warning.

The Great Malarkey

“Gaffa”

London-based band The Great Malarkey dares to ask the question, “Why did the Irish artist, the Canadian surfer, the Portuguese London tour guide, the Gloucestershire gardener, two UK Guild Hall students, a Latvian paralegal and an androgynous cockney, walk into a bar?” Apparently, the answer is create some riotous folk punk of orchestral proportions. Of course, with eight members listed as part of The Great Malarkey, I would imagine this band brings the party every time they show up to perform. If you dig “Gaffa” (and you will), I suggest checking out more of the online musical offerings The Great Malarkey released last month (here).

Sturdy Ladies

“Secret Weapon”

This garage rock trio from PHX adds some colorful kitsch to their punk rock punch bowl. Yes, Sturdy Ladies throw out the feisty fun on “Secret Weapon” that will have you shouting along so you might want to consider your location before you smash that play button. Luckily you’ll get your chance not once but twice. Not only are the Sturdy Ladies playing this Saturday, May 13, at the Yucca Tap they’re also opening for Shonen Knife (from Osaka, Japan) on May 24 with Shovel and The Pübes! More on that event here. Until then, spend some time with “Secret Weapon” and also their campy classic, “Cat Olympics“, available online as well. Both singles comes to us from the Sturdy Ladies’ debut EP, Brut Force, which you should pick up at a one of the previously mentioned shows because, so far, that’s the only place you can get ’em. Enjoy.

Dolly Spartans

“It’s Not Easy”

Okay, so when “It’s Not Easy” kicks off, you’re probably going to worry that I might be confused about what the word “rowdy” means, but give it a minute. The NYNY quartet known as the Dolly Spartans turn up the energy and the angst for this indie rock single. The vocals call to mind club scene kids like The Strokes while the accompanying instrumentation has an emo tinge that reminds me a bit of Jimmy Eat World. This single comes to us from the band’s latest EP, Time Sides with No One, which came out last month. Give “It’s Not Easy” by the Dolly Spartans a spin below…

Round Eye

“Billy”

Shanghai-based act Round Eye is comprised of “American ex-pats and Italians” which might seem like a bit of a metropolitan muddle, but rocknroll is a transcendent language that cold-crushes culture divides. “Billy” has a feisty punk energy and catchy hook that might just lodge into your brainspace and never leave again. Twenty years from now, a routine traffic stop could result in you screaming “Billy was a cop! Billy was a cop! Billy, Billy, Billy, Billy!” if you let the music of Round Eye take hold. And you definitely want to.

Annabel Allum

“Eat Greens”

Britain’s Annabel Allum first landed on our radar with her single, “Rich Backgrounds”, and this new single proves Allum is more than a one-trick pony. She has some chops. “Eat Greens” rips into that impetus toward better health that hits many of us as we move toward full-time adulting, but the song is more about finding balance than just clever witticisms. Allum has a gritty sound and a dry tongue that reminds me of Courtney Barnett. “Eat Greens” came out on April 28 through Killing Moon Records. Give the new single a spin below and, if you haven’t already, check out “Rich Backgrounds” from Annabel Allum as well.

Otherkin

“Bad Advice”

The Irish rockers known as Otherkin have some “Bad Advice” to offer up to fans. The four-piece describes their sound rather accurately as “Grunge Pop” so I could easily seeing them sharing a bill with Phoenix favorites like Fairy Bones or maybe Harper and the Moths.  This single comes to us from the band’s forthcoming debut album. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get our grubby mitts on that release in the not-too-distant future. Until then, enjoy “Bad Advice” from Otherkin…

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Joel Porter

“St. Anthony”

Sometimes beautiful things reach us from unexpected locales… like the breathtakingly beautiful “St. Anthony” from Bismark [North Dakota] artist, Joel Porter. This slow-burning indie-folk single just might break your heart so enter aware. Porter is the musician son of musician parents, and a multi-instrumentalist (from violin to french horns and a whole lot in between), so I went into this single expecting quite a bit, but “St. Anthony” still manages to blow me away. Subtle yet orchestral. Restrained yet deeply emotional. Listen to “St. Anthony” below and then I definitely recommend diving into the complete EP that Joel Porter put out last month, Mountain Twin.  

Vansire

“Pale Blue”

The dream pop act known as Vansire released their EP – The Rolling, Driftless North – a few months back and that album included this sweet single. “Pale Blue” almost has a BritPop sound (à la Belle & Sebastian) so the track’s basically been on repeat all day. Maybe its something about that snowy weather up in Minnesota that gives Vansire its Glasgow glow, but the band manages to sound buoyant and sorrowful at the same moment and the effect is lovely. Give “Pale Blue” from Vansire a listen below &/or check out the band’s complete EP: The Rolling, Driftless North

Say Anise

 “One Sound”

London-based singer-songwriter Emily Barnett performs under the moniker Say Anise; a name you’ll probably want to remember after you hear this dreamy number. Barnett has a sweet-tempered voice that floats over the easygoing indie folk instrumentation of “One Sound”. It’s a subtle charmer that pairs well with a relaxing morning at home and maybe some quiet reflection about where you are in the world and where you want to be going. Give “One Sound” from Say Anise a listen below…

Simen Mitlid

“I Don’t Care”

This new track from Simen Mitlid has a lithe indie-folk sound that will invigorate you, mind and body. Mitlid’s effervescent voice meets the symphonious instrumentation and sprightly harmonies of “I Don’t Care” with anything but apathy, no matter what the title suggests. Mitlid comes to us from Os (in Norway), but I’m hoping his music lands him stateside sooner rather than later. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this artist in hopes of new tunes on the approaching horizon. In the meantime, enjoy the blithe sound of Simen Mitlid’s “I Don’t Care” below…

SCHWARZ

“Home”

SCHWARZ is the new musical undertaking of Roland Meyer de Voltaire (formerly of the band Voltaire). “Home” takes us to the somber side of mellow for this introspective exploration of what it means to belong. SCHWARZ takes a stripped down approach on this acoustic single, but he still packs the emotive charge of an ensemble. SCHWARZ’s “Home” just dropped on Spinnin’ Records a couple months back. Give the track a listen below…

Tega

“Love Is”

The Canadian act known as Tega shared “Love Is” and this indie-folk single has a neo-soul slant I really love. The vocal layers that float above the tranquil melody on “Love Is” create a haunting sound that will stay with you long after you listen. If you dig this track, I suggest delving further into Tega’s online offerings [here]. But, first, check out “Love Is” by Tega below…

Jynjo & R E L

“A Little Bit Sometimes”

LA-based singer/songwriter R E L teamed up with the producer known as Jynjo to craft out this chill single. The indie-electro “A Little Bit Sometimes” has some fun bounce to it without ever breaking its relaxed atmosphere. And you gotta love the supple vocals of R E L. Kick it with “A Little Bit Sometimes” from Jynjo & R E L…

7 Stellar Singles: The Neo-Soul Edition

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by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Wallace

“Diaspora”

I don’t even know where to begin with New Zealand’s Wallace. I mean, should I start with the jazzy vocals that floats atop “Diaspora” or that funky soup of sound that simmers underneath? It’s all so good. Wallace describes her sound as “future soul” and I certainly hope there’s a predictive element in that tag. Wallace teamed up with Sydney-based producer and vocalist Crooked Letter to create “Diaspora” using samples from Nigerian funk music. Check out the new single from Wallace below and keep watch for her debut EP later this year!

Frank Affer

“The Times”

Frank Affer teamed up with his brother to give shape to his forthcoming debut EP, L U V S O U N Z. “The Times” is just a little sampling from that album. Blurring the line between melodic rap and pop, Frank Affer drops his breezy lyrics over a subtle but sprightly beat.  The track definitely goes in for some of that radio-ready production, but it doesn’t feel heavy-handed. Not at all. “The Times” keeps things easygoing, but that doesn’t stop it from getting stuck in your brain space. This is a promising start for Frank Affer. Give “The Times” a spin below…

OsagieTheGreat

“The Water Song”

Richmond’s OsagieTheGreat takes a simple, kickback beat and shapes out a smooth summer single with “The Water Song”. Just like its straightforward moniker, “The Water Song” doesn’t go for an overly-embellished sound. No need to church things up when you’ve got a good thing going. The single was produced by Daghe and was released earlier this month so it still has that new car smell. Make sure you check out “The Water Song” from OsagieTheGreat below…

Afrikan Boy

“LITW”

Afrikan Boy (AB) gets personal on his new single, “LITW”. Recounting the story of his parents, from their initial meeting to their relocation to the United Kingdom. The single starts with a bit of whimsical guitar work, but the story carries a serious tone that matters the implications of its message. Don’t go into “LITW” expecting an easy hook and endlessly repeated lyrics. AB turns the focus inward with his lyrical prowess on “LITW”. Give the single a spin here…

Sam Nicolosi

“Our Blood” 

Sam Nicolosi takes an R&B path to Neo-Soul. His new single, “Our Blood”, infuses soul, blues, hiphop, and commercial pop into one chill sound. The saying goes that blood is thicker than water, but what does that really mean when there’s no shared love? According to “Our Blood”, not much. This track comes from Nicolosi’s debut EP, Origins, which dropped in April. If you dig “Our Blood”, make sure you delve into the full five-track release.

Jonny Lemons

“Stay Alive”

Phoenix R&B artist Jonny Lemons infuses an assortment of other styles, from hiphop to indie, for a modern twist on Soul. His new single, “Stay Alive”, addresses the anguish of loss not only in the lyrics, but also with the poignant texturing on the production end thanks to Jonny Lemons and Ryan Daminson. The vocals move from ambient to a sharp and expressive rhyme style that reminds me of Sage Francis in the way it is real and raw. Give “Stay Alive” from Jonny Lemons a spin below…

MF Robots

“Come On with the Good Thing”

The London duo known as MF Robots revives the vivacity of disco with their neo-soul sound.  “Come On with the Good Thing” has it all: the percussion, the horns, the harmonies, even the cowbell. MF Robots demonstrates some sharp musicianship in this funky nod to the Age of Glitter. And, just in case you’re wondering, the name stands for “Music For Robots,” not that other MF. Get down to “Come on with the Good Thing” from MF Robots below…

7 Eclectic Summertime Singles

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by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Exxxtra Crispy

“Scumbag” 

Exxxtra Crispy might be a new band on the Tempe scene, but this rowdy bunch is comprised of some pretty prominent players. The band just dropped their debut album, They Don’t Think It Be Like It Is But It Do, on 4/20 which includes this sweet single. “Scumbag” kicks off with Latarian Milton talking up that hoodrat life before some “totally danceable minimalist-pop-power-funk/punk” takes over. This single is a superb example of that Exxxtra Crispy sound: smart sample selection, horns, and some seriously riotous punk vocals all smushed together. This band might just be for you if your idea of summer fun includes late nights, loud music, recreational drugs, and, well, you get it…. Smash that play button below and don’t forget to delve into the full Exxtra Crispy experience here.

moonweather

“Drying Out”

Moonweather might only count three official members amongst their ranks, but for the making of the new album, they called upon friends near and far until the list of participating artists and musicians became a bit too long to print. The band describes their sound as “kind of like Sufjan Stevens and Modest Mouse had a child they’re both disappointed in,” but I think moonweather harkens back to even earlier indie. “Drying Out” has a bit of a Pavement feel to me, particularly during the early part of the song. The single has a bit of a listless feel – you know, that lazy hazy feeling that you get on a sticky summer afternoon when you have nothing to do bit listen to records and stare at the ceiling fan. That is this song.

Call Me Karizma

“Zombie”

If you missed Call Me Karizma when they passed through Tempe back in March, you missed out but you can correct that with a little at-home listening. Call Me Karizma opts for a more pharmaceutical application of the term “Zombie” on their chill new single. This “emo-pop” number has a slouchy feel but the production is tight. That just might be the modern mode of psychedelia for the pill-poppin’ generation. Danceable and sometimes depressing. I dig it. Zone out to “Zombie” from Call Me Karizma below…

Cooper Claire

“Pedaling”

Michigan musician Cooper Claire wrote this indie ditty about riding a bike with a friend. How cute and summertime is that?! Claire takes us back to a a time “when friendship was effortless” and bicycles were our sole means of transport. There’s a lot of variance within the soundscape here so make sure you park it for the long-haul with “Pedaling” or, at the very least, hold out past the 90-second-mark when we catch that downhill speed.

Amariszi

“Va T’en Fou”

This riotous act from the Netherlands combines Balkan influences with klezmer, folk, pop, and even a touch of reggae. Yes, folks, you read that right. Their new single “Va T’en Fou” is just a taste of what can be expected from their new album, Babel Fish. I just love this track. “Va T’en Fou” feels like a gypsy riverboat party on the Seine in Paris. Amariszi is definitely one of those bands I want to see live so let’s hope they’re ready to talk U.S. tour.

Syntax Club

“Mississippi, Come and Take Me”

Despite the carcinogenic amount of sunlight in my early days, there’s a little bubble of nostalgia that gains extra glow when the weather warms. The Oklahoma City duo known as Syntax Club manages to capture that seasonal buoyancy in their beach pop sound on “Mississippi, Come and Take Me” despite their distance from the ocean. There’s carefree school-vacation feel on this single that calls for flipflops, cutoffs, and a boombox down by the river. Check out “Mississippi, Come and Take Me” by Syntax Club below…

The Apaches

“Pistoleros”

When it comes to The Apaches, don’t just stop at one song. My suggestion is to start with “Pistoleros” and then work your way through all of Musica Surfica Vol. III & IV; the followup to 2016’s Musica Surfica Vol. I & II, of course. In fact, you could just go all the way back to Vol. I  & II to partake of the complete set (thus far). The Apaches add a splash of desert garage to their beachy surf sound. If you’re getting ready to light the tiki torches and grill up some Sonoran dogs, The Apaches have your playlist covered. You can sample “Pistoleros”, the opening track from Vol. III & IV, or you can just head here to score that complete album.

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B O K E H
“Don’t Leave the Fire”

Pale Rivers
“August 6th”

Flagship
“Midnight”

John Adams
“See You Again”

Freddy Hale
“Troublemaker”

Anna Wise
“Balance in All”

Galen Crew
“Fragrance”

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Fighting Caravans
“It’s A Nice Ride (To Be Fair)”

Ghost of Jericho
“Babylon”

BNNY RBBT
“Bombs”

GRAEF
“Boneclocks”

A Fugitive
“Restless Coincidence”

Byrddogs
“Moving Trees”

nûk
“Gray”

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Anita Lester
“Man”

Robin Vining
“Someone for Everyone”

Rachèl Louise
“Big Girl”

Ben Anderson
“Perfect”

Viviola
“Flesh”

Belinda Esquer
“Brujeria”

Veronica King
“Ice Cream Sundae”

 

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Dirty Magic
“Sick of It”

Captured! By Robots
“Endless Circle of Bullshit”

Right At The Fork
“Left Side of the Brain”

FALSE HEADS
“TWENTYNOTHING”

Nepotism
“War Zone (Choppa)”

Sloppy Joe’s
“Right Decision”

Matt Boroff
“Thirst”