7 Funky New Jams

funky 00RILLAKILL & Brandyn Burnette

“The Freshest”

You might be familiar with producer Brandyn Burnette. After all, we’ve featured him on YabYum before so you should know him. Anyway, Burnette wrote this track on his 26th birthday and brought it to Rillakill to help bring the hit to life. “The Freshest” has that slick radio style that immediately gets you dancing and stays stuck in your head for days. Consider that your only warning. The crisp production and catchy hooks of “The Freshest” won’t let go of listeners. Give the single from Rillakill and Bradyn Burnette a listen below or head here for your very own digital copy.

Lucille Crew

“Something”

HipHop, funk, and electropop melt together in this banger from Lucille Crew, an international act that originated in Tel Aviv. “Something” grooves with club energy while the melody sticks to you like glue. Or sweat. The lushly layered monotone vocals really sold me though. Give “Something” from the Lucille Crew a listen below. This single is just a little sampling from their forthcoming album, Respect the Dawn, which is due out this Spring.

Berry Juice & Josh Tobias

“Creature of the Night”

Retro synths and a funky hook really make “Creature of the Night” sizzle. The single was produced in collaboration as an international undertaking combining the efforts of Amsterdam-based producer Berry Juice and Brooklyn-based vocalist Josh Tobias. Part of a two-track single that dropped last December (available here), “Creature of the Night” feels like driving through has just enough contemporary cool to keep the 80s throwback style from inflating your hair. Let’s hope “Creature of the Night” is just one of the many collaborative tracks that emerge from this partnership. Give the single a listen below…

Swindail

“Jussrite”

The Aussie artist known as Swindail has an uncommonly self-effacing attitude for a producer, but you can’t tell that from listening to his slick singles. “Jussright” mixes chill but upbeat energy with all the little textural niceties that take a track from amateur hour to totally pro. The vocal additions from SACHI and Naji help Swindail capture that breezy summertime vibe that defines “Jussrite”. If it’s winter here that means it’s summer Down Under, right? All of us above the equator get a a little while longer to learn all the words to “Jussrite” before we hear this single on those poolside playlists. Give the single from Swindail a spin below or head here to snag your own copy before those temperatures get turned up.

Black Giraffe

“Kansas”

This song is about two days spent driving cross-country to visit a dying friend. Somber, yes, but funky too. The Seattle trio known as Black Giraffe offers up a foxy R&B/rock sound that’s backed by a solid groove. There’s an added experimental layer that keeps things interesting in a modern way.  Give “Kansas” a spin below…

Unified Highway

“Are You That Somebody”

Unified Highway fuses the talents of Eric Rachmany (Rebelution vocalist/guitarist) and Amp Live (producer, DJ, remixer formerly of Zion I). The duo creates a kickback vibe on their new single, “Are You That Somebody”, with the help of a few musician friends. The track has a reggae twist but you can hear a melting pot of styles from electropop to soul and beyond. Meander down that Unified Highway with their track “Are You Somebody” below or get your very own copy here.

Dahj

“Size Up”

Chad Phillips is the Jamaican singer/producer/songwriter who performs under the moniker Dahj. His slinky new single “Size Up” fuses R&B, Dancehall, and HipHop for a fresh sound with island flavor. If you dig “Size Up”, I suggest checking out other singles available from Dahj. He only recently moved from the role of producer to center stage so he only has a few tracks under his belt. But fear not, Dahj is currently hard at work on his debut EP. Until then, enjoy “Size Up” below or head here to get your own digi-download.

7 Fresh Hiphop Singles

7 fresh 000Bodega Dream

“Polaroids”

Bodega Dream fuses psychedelic indie rock and old school hiphop on their politically charged single, “Polaroids”. The Brooklyn-based quartet originally from Miami contains some rather talented players. Darion Ray Kelley spits the pensive lyrics with a slightly aggressive air that reflects the current societal malaise many of us feel while the supporting musicality is vibrantly yet subtlety layered to draw the listener deep within. “Polaroids” is the second single from the band’s sophomore effort, EP 2. Give the new single by Bodega Dream a listen below…

Sidizen King

“Stuck in the Middle”

Relationships are funny. In fact, I could spend days (weeks, years) regaling you with humorous tales of my own blissful union, but this isn’t about me. Instead, I give you “Stuck in the Middle” from Sidizen King out of Los Angeles. It’s a He-Wants/She-Wants tale with an unexpected turning of the tables, all set to a slick beat and delivered in Sidizen King’s fluid, fun flow. Sidizen King just debuted his sound in 2016 and already he’s earned some notable accolades (including hitting #1 on HypeMachine twice last year). And it looks like he’s ready for another hit with “Stuck in the Middle”. Give the single a spin below…

Woes

“Blood”

The Chicago rapper known as Woes teamed up with Des Martin (bass) and Aaron Black (guitar) to give shape to “Blood”. The 2017 single hits hard with its raw, introspective lyrics, around which the song is built. Woes really stands out as a songwriter on “Blood” and gets personal about witnessing the trials faced by aging loved ones. Rather than going for a rap-rock style, the music on “Blood” has more of a traditional hiphop feel with the instrumentation standing in place of the usual beat/samples for a fresh sound. This single comes to us from Woes’ s/t 3-track release which dropped earlier this month. Give Woes a listen, but first, delve into “Blood” below…

D’Meetri

“Bitch”

Now, I don’t really go in for the misogynistic HipHop (and we get A LOT of those singles sent in), so don’t get prematurely dismissive over the title of this track. D’Meetri offers listeners a chill single that encourages a stiff-upper-lip attitude and discourages bitching about the problems in your life. Yeah, it’s that kind of “Bitch” and I really couldn’t think of a better time in history for this talk-off. We could all use a little more personal empowerment and a little less kvetching. “Bitch” also has a witty slant to the lyrics that really sold me on that first listen. Give the new single from D’Meetri (and produced by Nicolas Ludwig) a listen below…

Foursix

“Chill”

The NYC music collective known as Foursix recently dropped this laid back single appropriately titled, “Chill”. Those last few minutes before your grrrl (or guy) shows up for a romantic evening can be a brutal test of one’s patience, but I suggest just putting on this track so “Chill” can mellow you out while setting the mood. This single introduces producer and Foursix co-founder Jahnei on vocals along with Payso and Coach Wave. Check out “Chill” from Foursix below. If you dig “Chill”, I suggest checking out the collection from whence it came: 3016  which dropped on the 10th and its packed with ten tracks featuring the talents of the Foursix crew, including “Chill”.

Complex Theory

“Ambition”

The Chicago emcee known as Complex Theory cites influences as wide reaching as Wu Tang Clan and Sam Cooke. On his latest single, “Ambition”, Complex Theory reflects on some of the musical artists that inspired him to shape out his own sound. “Ambition” comes to us from Complex Theory’s sophomore release, 1 Day You’ll Understand, which is available through Soundcloud here. Give the single a spin below…

Mister Wise

“Man of Orange”

I have to be honest here. The Donald Trump diss tracks have been flowing in every day since that shitshow of an inauguration happened. However, it was Mister Wise’s “Man of Orange” that really stood out for its wry humor and thinly veiled aggression. Mister Wise outta Virginia keeps the beat simple and the focus on the sharp lyricism. Although, the most intense lines are often direct quotes. Now, that’s frightening. Give “Man of Orange” from Mister Wise a listen below and don’t lose sight of the struggle.

7 Stellar Singer-Songwriters

stellar singer 00by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Ivory Tusk

“Ripples”

The folk songwriter known as Ivory Tusk enchants listeners on his new single, “Ripples”. This single provides an engaging opening for Ivory Tusk’s recent release, Rising Lights, which came out on Jan. 8th. Ivory Tusk originates from Buenos Aires where he also recorded Rising Lights. His forthcoming release, Zephyr, due out later this year, was recorded in Nashville. Ivory Tusk is planning a European Tour this year, but we at YabYum are hoping still for a Phoenix stop to be added. Last time Ivory Tusk passed through he shared the Trunk Space stage with Justin Moody. Now, that I’d like to see. Until we get those tour dates, enjoy “Ripples” below and then head here to listen to the complete EP.**[See Note Below]

Lea Thomas

“Want for Nothing”

The smoky vocals of Lea Thomas drew me into “Want for Nothing” – the title track from her 2017 album.  Calm but in no way aloof, “Want for Nothing” manages to attain soothing and emotionally tumultuous in the same stanza. Originally from Maui, Thomas is Brooklyn-based these days. There is definitely a citified air to her sound, one more cloudy than sunny. I can get behind that. Check out “Want for Nothing” below and then head here for the complete LP.

Justin Levinson

“Homewrecking Machine”

Justin Levinson applies a 60s slant to contemporary indie pop for a refreshing, summertime sound. This East Coaster definitely has some California vibes buried in his heart of hearts. “Homewrecking Machine” carries some Beatles-esque motifs in the soundscape, including rich harmonies and uplifting energy. The single comes to us from Levinson’s 2017 release, Yes Man, so if you dig what you’re hearing, I suggest procuring the complete album for your personal collection (available here).

George Linton

“That’s Okay My Dear”

I’m totally enamored with the musical stylings of George Linton. This songwriter from the U.K. has a stripped down style that hinges on the storytelling of his songwriting. “That’s Okay My Dear” has a sweet-tempered sound to match its doting lyricism. Definitely spend some time with “That’s Okay My Dear” below. This demo track is a tremendously promising start for young Mr. Linton.

Nilu

“What I’m Looking For”

L.A.-based songbird Nilu offers up this simple and soulful single, “What I’m Looking For”. Only single guitar provides the stripped bare melody over which Nilu’s voice flies. Lithe and powerful, Nilu’s vocals define this track and make it shine. Check out “What I’m Looking For” by Nilu below and then head here to add the single to your own playlists.

Lewis Dalgliesh

“My Bluebird is a Storm Petrel”

Gah! What’s with this British songwriters totally ripping out my heart this week? “My Bluebird is a Storm Petrel” comes to us from Lewis Dalgliesh’s recent release, From a Journal, which was written over a seven month period while the songwriter was driving with companions from London to Cape Town. Yes, folks, driving. And, for those of you who aren’t sure where those places are, look at a goddamn map, you’re embarrassing the rest of us Americans. This single has a wayfaring air and a calm, pensive attitude. Just the sort of thing you would hope might emerge from traveling across the world. Listen to “My Bluebird is a Storm Petrel” below. From a Journal, in its entirety, can be found here.

Swan Levitt

“You Were Human”

Swan Levitt comes to us from Isle of Wight, UK – surprise, surprise. Apparently, it’s Brit Songwriter Day here at  YabYum and no one told me. Whatever. This song, like those that came before it, is a new gem in ancient tradition. “You Were Human” has some real emotive energy and a sci-fi slant, how could I not love that? Levitt goes beyond the guitar-and-vocals combo to add some vibrant but subtle textures that really elevate the track. Take the single for spin a below. The track is also available for your private collection here.

 

**Correction: There was an error in the piece so the original content was changed to reflect the correct information. Our bad.

7 Chill R&B Singles

chill 00Tameca Jones

“Hot and Bothered”

The soulful, sultry vocal stylings of Tameca Jones will awaken the disco queen that lives inside every one of us. The Austin-based songbird released “Hot and Bothered” from her debut EP, Naked, which came out earlier this year. Jones’s voice smolders then soars while the stellar musicianship will have you busting out your best John Travolta moves whether in your kitchen or at a club. Give “Hot and Bothered” a listen below and then head here for our very copy of Naked by Tameca Jones.

Unlike Pluto

“Someone New”

Unlike Pluto is the musical moniker of Armond Arabshahi, an Atlanta-raised/L.A.-based producer. This new single from Unlike Pluto starts off with a slinky, somewhat sludgy beat, but jazzier permutations kick in and it all comes together into one slick sound. “Someone New” features the vocal styles of Desi Valentine and some sick samples from 1950s jazz records. The single was released as part of a Monstercat compilation (available here). For more tracks from Unlike Pluto, head here.

 Emma Cole

“He Will”

Philadelphia’s Emma Cole packs a serious Motown punch on her new single, “He Will”. The retro-style backing vocals in no way diminish the soaring power of Cole’s own pipes and the vintage soul feel of the music will have you dancing before the first refrain kicks off. Fans of Old School R&B need look no further than Emma Cole. Take “He Will” for a spin below…

JPV

“S.O.S.”

Jean-Paul Viteri (or JPV, as he’s known to his friends) dropped this new single in hopes of seducing you in two languages. And it just might work. “S.O.S.” (produced by RDY Beats) offers listeners a contemporary R&B number, velvety and emotive, that speaks to the power of love in both English and Spanish and, of course, the universal language of music. Give “S.O.S.” by JPV a listen below and then get your own digi-download of the single for your personal nighttime collection here.

Meghan Gibbs

“How Do You Know?”

Brooklyn’s Meghan Gibbs has a breezy voice and a vintage charm, both of which you can hear on her single, “How Do You Know?” Stylistically, Gibbs goes for a throwback sound that harkens back to the early days of R&B. “How Do You Know?” is a dreamy number I can imagine listening to on a Zyon Wooden Retro Turntable back in the day when 45s were still a regular thing. Chill out with the mellow single “How Do You Know?” by Meghan Gibbs below, then score your own copy here.

Morgan St. Jean

“Out of Love”

The emotive power of Morgan St. Jean immediately captured my attention when “Out of Love” first crossed my path. By the end of that first listen, I was one shot of tequila away from total emotional collapse. The L.A.-based songstress takes sentiment and elevates it to desperate heights with the authenticity of her performance. Let “Out of Love” by Morgan St. Jean break your heart. Listen below and then add the track to your breakup playlist (available for purchase here).

Queen Novah

“Lies”

Ever feel let down when you get drawn into a relationship with someone who isn’t ready for a relationship? Then this song is for you. Queen Novah lays out her romantic disappointments with a smooth and sultry voice. My only complaint is the strange squeaky noise that is incorporated to the beat. It sorta sounds like the illicit confessions of a bedframe, but I’ll forgive the squeak because of the mellow vibe and stellar vocals. This is a promising start for Queen Novah. Give “Lies” a listen below…

3 Eclectic Pop Albums

Eclectic Pop albums 00by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

lost valley

lost valley

Brooklyn’s lost valley proves you can do a little with a lot. On his self-titled debut, you’ll find 11 stripped-down tracks of some of the best bedroom pop I’ve heard in quite some time. “ctl” kicks off the release with something a little playful despite being mildly depressing before “wasterluv” ups the angst.  There’s a lot of variance on lost valley while maintain a distinctive and unified sound. “fried chx” takes an indie-folk approach while “sandhill dr.” touches upon some drone. “julie” offers ruminating track tinged by love before “in my solitude (duke ellington)” closes out lost valley with an experimental edge. Listen to lost valley here…

Harper and the Moths

Mixtape

Harper and the Moths takes their love of 80s synth pop to a whole new level on Mixtape; a collection of covers from the Phoenix act known for their New Wave flair. Almost forgotten hits are given new life on this EP like Timex Social Club’s “Rumors” or Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me”. Personally, I’m quite taken with “West End Girls” even though Aha’s “Take On Me” was an integral part of my music-listening development as a child so it also has a special place in my heart. Mixtape was released as a Halloween treat for fans of Harper and the Moths, but I suspect the band might draw in a lot of new listeners with this amalgamation of cover tracks. Listen to Mixtape by Harper and the Moths, and if you like what you’re hearing, delve into the band’s original songs from earlier releases.

Henry Hall

My Friends Don’t Like Me

NYC-based musician Henry Hall blurs indie rock and pop on his latest EP, My Friends Don’t Like Me. And, much like the title of the release implies, Hall invokes a sly wit that often turns toward self-depreciation in his lyrics. When you pair that lyrical prowess with the effervescent feel of the melodies and Hall’s lively and lithe falsetto, the result is infectious. “Comfort Zone”, the first single and opening track from his EP, introduces the buoyant energy that carries through the rest of the songs. “Company” achieves ethereal harmonic heights while “Wyoming” provides a dreamy vision of open prairies. I love when musicians are able to add humor to their songs without sacrificing, you know, the music. Henry Hill does just that. Give My Friends Don’t Like Me a listen below.

7 Emerging Singer Songwriters

 Kyle Morton

“Survivalist Fantasy”

Perhaps you’ve encountered the music of Kyle Morton before through the work of the Portland post-pop act, Typhoon? If not, don’t worry. This single from Morton’s debut solo album will secure your future fandom as Morton emerges as a singer-songwriter in his own right. A dark and pensive meandering through a post-apocalyptic dream, “Survivalist Fantasy” is a new personal favorite. Morton has locked down at least 5k Spotify plays from me in the coming months. Listen to the single here and then continue on to Kyle Morton’s full-length release, What Will Destroy You. Oh, if the strange outro creeps you out, just start the track over and the beauty will distract you from your fears.

Alycia Lang

“The Windowsill”

It’s not really appropriate to categorize Alycia Lang as an “emerging” songwriter considering she’s already earned her chops in bands like Waterstrider, Trails and Ways, and BOWS. But this single does mark a departure from her band status as Lang embarks on this solo endeavor so, in that sense, she is emerging as an artist in her own right. And, what a way to come out swinging, metaphorically speaking. “The Windowsill” is a breathtaking number; a moment of reflection encased in glass. This single proves a promising (new) start for Alycia Lang.

Tim de Vil & His Imaginary Friends

“Who’s Afraid of Sarah Little?”

Clever and a little doleful, the lyrical content of this new single from Tim de Vil & His Imaginary Friends burrows into the listener, festering long after those final chords. Of course, if you’re wondering who Tim de Vil is, keep wondering. The band consists of Justin Robbins (vocals/guitar), TJ Reed (Bass), and Bradley Stell (Drums) so the songwriting duties do not fall to this mysterious Tim de Vil.  From start to finish, a detached voice offers the listeners glimpses of inner turmoil that resides beneath the surface, vacillating between a singsong speech and a quietly mounting desperation. Listen to “Who’s Afraid of Sarah Little?” below…

Alyeska

“EverGlow”

The L.A.-based act known as Alyeska was formed by nineteen-year-old singer/songwriter/guitarist Alaska Reid. Reid joined forces with Ben Spear (drummer) and Enzo Scardapane (guitar/bass) and began shaping their dynamic sound. Ethereal vocals converge with brooding guitars on “EverGlow” and the effect is bewitching. Minimal texturing swells to an electric fullness and then ebbs again. This track came out earlier this year so let’s hope there’s something new from Alyeska on the horizon. In the meantime, listen to “EverGlow” here and, if you dig it, delve further into the band’s Soundcloud offerings.

Jeanette Lynne

“11:11”

Jeannette Lynn has a voice that is both earnest and lithe. That combo serves as a great vehicle for her heartfelt lyrics. The single, “11:11”, comes to us from Lynne’s sophomore effort, Rabbit’s Foot, which was released over the summer. An acoustic guitar is the only accompaniment needed because the rich vocal layers provide all the texturing you need. Jeanette Lynne hails from Philadelphia so we’re hoping she has Westward tour plans brewing. Check out “11:11” below and, if you like what you’re hearing, consider procuring your own copy of Rabbit’s Foot here.

Rue Snider

“Stories”

Brooklyn-based singer-songwritere Rue Snider crafts a “love song to women who read books” on his new single, “Stories”. The track comes to us from Snider’s sophomore effort, Broken Window, which was released in October. The stripped down delivery of “Stories” pairs nicely with Rue Snider’s crisp, clear voice and gentle melody. Check out “Stories” below and consider that digital download of Broken Window for your personal collection (available here).

Katie Ferrara

“In Your Arms”

L.A.-based singer-songwriter Katie Ferrara creates a soothing and simple number with “In Your Arms”, the first single from her forthcoming EP. The track takes on a romantic hue that perfectly suits the sweet-tempered vocals of Ferrara. The new EP, Dream Catcher came out on October 22nd so you can score your own copy here. But, first, enjoy the single, “In Your Arms”, by Katie Ferrara below…

7 Stellar Indie Singles

stellar indie 00

Farewell Teddy

“Huxley, Party of One”

Sifting through the sea of mediocre submissions can suddenly seem very worthwhile once you stumble across that really special track. “Huxley, Party of One” from Atlanta’s Farewell Teddy was just that track today. It sneaks up on you and, before you know it, you’re caught in the swell. This indie-rock duo consists of James Daniel Brown and Nathaniel David and this stellar single comes to us from Farewell Teddy’s full-length debut, Brave New World’s Fair. You can bet your sweet dollar I plan on spending some time with that release. So good. So so good.

Clear Plastic Masks

“Take a Little Drag”

Nashville 4-piece Clear Plastic Masks has released their second album, Nazi Holograms (really), and their first single is this somber little number. “Take a Little Drag” embodies an emotional space of calm resignation, like that first cigarette of the morning as you brace yourself for the day. Despite the name, Nazi Holograms is an album worth checking out, as this single surely indicates. Just expect things to be a bit more rowdy overall. Listen to “Take a Little Drag” below…

Praything

“Soon Soon”

Brooklyn resident Ju Kovacevich, who creates music under the moniker Praything, is re-releasing his single “Soon Soon” through Loose Narrative. The song draws our attention to the quiet moments of beauty that construct our day to day existence. With its tranquil musicality and pensive lyricism, “Soon Soon” is bound to become one of those moments of beauty that the song speaks about. This dream pop number fills the listener with a sense of meditative splendor even on those darker days. Listen to “Soon Soon” by Praything here…

Rachel Faith

“11:09 p.m. (Bad People Wasting My Good Time)”

Chicago-based musician Rachel Faith sets out a simple beat and melodically rides the wave on “11:09 p.m. (Bad People Wasting My Good Time)”, her entrancing new single. Although the track is tagged “electronic pop”, Faith has a HipHop slant to her instrumentation (or lack thereof) and an R&B vibe to her voice. Rachel wrote and produced this single all by her lonesome and I think this song speaks volume of just how much can be done with so little. It doesn’t take heavy-handed production or glitzy layers of sound to make a decent pop song. All you need is a solid rhythm, some lyrical prowess, and a voice that can entrance the listener. Rachel Faith has all three on lockdown. Listen to “11:09 p.m. (Bad People Wasting My Good Time)” below…

Night Drifting

“Disappearing Love”

Based out of Claremont, CA, Night Drifting is the brainchild of Amit Pandey. His single, “Disappearing Love”, is brooding and tinged with nostalgia – the kind that finds you at a roadside diner in the middle of the night. Powerful vocals merged with a hazy soup of sound for a stellar song made for late-night drives. Pandey undertook Night Drifting “as a means to continue music non-stop” so expect more tracks to come. In the meantime, enjoy “Disappearing Love” below…

Bartholin

“Paraphones”

A paraphone, for those who are wondering, is a paranormal communication, usually directed at the “other side”. A bit apropos considering the haunting musicality of Bartholin, the musical collaboration between Drew Danburry and Cat Leavy. “Paraphones” drifts around the listener before taking hold and dragging them down into the depths of the subconscious. This single comes to us from the duo’s new EP which came out in September through Tree Machine Records. Listen to “Paraphones” here and, if you like what you’re hearing, make sure you check out the new EP from Bartholin as well.

The Captain’s Son

“Walking Around Purposefully”

If The Captain’s Son is any indication of what Springfield, MO has to offer by way of music, I might have to add another dot to my road trip map. This indie rock act combines a summery melody to a vocal style that vacillates from disinterested to agitated and back again. “Walking Around Purposefully” comes to us from the band’s s/t debut album which came out earlier this year. Check out the single below, then delve further into The Captain’s Son…

7 Stellar Indie Singles

Socks

“Forevermore”

The four-piece from Modesto, CA that performs under the moniker Socks combines the talents of Gabbi Krikke (vocals), Joey Oliveira (guitar), Josh Hoogendoorn (bass), and Aaron Inacio (drums). “Forevermore” is the first single from Socks and it shows some serious promise for what’s to come from this newbie band. Energetic indie-surf-rock pairs well with the effervescent vocals of Krikke. “Forevermore” is a little taste of Summer this Fall. Give the single a listen below…

The New Royales

“Travellers”

The New Royales are gearing up for their fourth release this Fall. “Travellers” [sic] is an early sampling of what’s to come and I must say, it’s dreamy. This 4-piece creates a seamlessly textured soundscape that fills the listener with a mildly effervescent energy. Listen to “Travelers” below and join us in the wait for the new release from The New Royales.

Common Jack

“Fine Line”

The Brooklyn-based folk-rock act known as Common Jack is the brainchild of singer-songwriter & multi-instrumentalist John Gardner who returned from a two-and-a-half year stint with the Broadway show, Once, to form Common Jack. “Fine Line” comes to us from the band’s sophomore LP, Strange New State. Astute lyrics meet powerful vocals while the melody ebbs and flows between mellow and forceful. What I like most about Gardner’s voice is its exacting precision that doesn’t suffer the lack of raw energy that sometimes gets lost with training. Listen to “Fine Line” below and consider delving into the full release from Common Jack here.

Nightair

“Supernova”

I’m loving this new track from indie rockers, Nightair. “Supernova” encapsulates that fun, free feeling of summertime in this buoyant single which comes to us from the band’s debut EP. Upbeat indie at its finest, Nightair takes a cue from The Strokes, but puts a distinctly SoCal spin on their hipster cool sound. Check out Nightair’s debut EP here, but first, give “Supernova” a listen below. Clear some space around you first. “Supernova” brings out the sassy dance moves lurking in all of us.

The Band Piano

“Backdoor Bay” 

This 3-piece out of Statesboro, GA has a rowdy vibe and some Southern charm. The Band Piano doesn’t actually have a piano among its included instruments, but don’t let that stop you. The band chose the name in ironic reference to a musical term that suggests one should play softly. The Bad Piano does not. “Backdoor Bay” has some blues-rock infused into their brand of indie rock; complete with stellar guitar riffs and revival tent worthy vocals. This track comes to us from The Band Piano’s debut studio album, Sick Bones, which is available here.

Trails and Ways

“Get Loud”

Trails and Ways out of Oakland is one of my new favorite bands right now. In the vein of power-pop a la Phoenix’s Diners or Seattle’s Iji, Trails and Ways combines nostalgia and modernity in the greatest of ways. Signed to Brazilian label Balaclava Records, principle songwriter and lyricist Keith Brower Brown finished this song on a balcony on the São Paulo coast, “Our Brazil tour capped a year of destruction that made me face up to my vanity and closedness [sic]. This song is the catharsis I felt in dropping my guard, owning my flaws, and finding the deep confidence and desire to rock out.” Cool. Listen to “Get Loud” below and, if you dig the track, consider scoring your own copy of the new album from Trails and Ways here.

Dama Scout

“Forget It’s Good”

Dama Scout out of London, England offer up their incredible first single with “Forget It’s Good”. Although a little on the harder side and labeled “alternative”, with it’s dreamy guitars and lissome, supple vocals “Forget It’s Good” definitely offers up something indie fans can get behind. When the crunchy, distorted guitars drop in for the pre-chorus the song certainly caught me by surprise. They don’t last very long however before the song slinks back into it’s velvet-pop sweater. I highly recommend listening to “Forget It’s Good” below and keeping an eye on Dama Scout for whatever they release next.

7 Mellow Singles

 Jillian and the Giants

“Mr. Airplane”

Tuscon’s Jillian Bessett first captured our attention with the release of her solo endeavor, Electric Moon, back in 2014. Now, she’s back (with a band) and ready to release her latest single and a brand new album. “Mr. Airplane”, the title track, starts off gently – sweet and a little playful – but there are some pensive hues strung throughout the song, including some slight drone effects for texturing. All in all, “Mr. Airplane” is a lovely song that stays with you long after you listen. Give the track a spin and then continue on to listen to Mr. Airplane, the LP, in full (available here).

Galapaghost

“Never Heard Nothin'”

Originally from Woodstock, NY, Austin-based Casey Chandler is the musical force behind Galapaghost. He dropped this ruminating single in support of his third album, I Never Arrived. “Never Heard Nothin'” is a simple yet haunting track. Chandler’s voice suggests a gentle desperation that is further tempered by the stripped-down and somber melodies. The effect is beautiful. Check out “Never Heard Nothin'” below and throw Galapaghost some support by procuring your very own copy of I Never Arrived (available here).

Snowblink

“Feel Like A Man”

As a woman in music, I know the industry can still feel a bit too much like a boys’ club. But, with more and more innovative female-identified artists carving out a niche in the biz, I feel there is hope. This new single from Snowblink addresses those feelings of alienation and frustration that can arise from being an outsider in an insider’s industry. “Feel Like A Man” provides a ruminant number that uses haunting vocals to lead the listener through a stark aural landscape.  The band combines the musical efforts of Daniela Gesundheit and Dan Goldman – one out of Toronto and one from Los Angeles – for something breathtaking without any excess. Listen to “Feel Like A Man” here…

Headphone Hair

Signs

Oakland artist Ian Walters teaches middle school by day and creates dreamy indie pop tracks under the name Headphone Hair by night. “Signs” vacillates between a simple songwriter-and-guitar combination to an orchestral level of sound layers that will lift your spirit and carry it along on fluffy, sunset-colored clouds. I’m quite enamored with this track which appears on If this means you…; Headphone Hair’s full-length release which came out in August. Give “Signs” a spin here and, if you like what you’re hearing, move onto the album in full (available here).

Circles/Waves

“Inside Out”

The Brooklyn-based 3-piece known as Circles/Waves released the single “Inside Out” over the summer. The band was formed by
singer/trumpet player, Claire Lorenzo, and multi-instrumentalist, Marissa Mazzotta. Jazz drummer Cashel Barnett completes the trifecta and, together, the trio creates a subtly rich texture on their latest track, “Inside Out”. The melody approaches the listener as if from a dream or the warm flush of sunlight on your face during a wind-chilled day. Circles/Waves takes an experimental approach when crafting their unique indie rock sound. If you dig “Inside Out”, I suggest delving into the band’s 2016 EP (available here).

Creature People

“West Cozy”

Fans of Joanna Newsom should definitely check out the brother-sister duo known as Creature People. Combining classical guitar and quirky, sugar-sweet vocals for a folk-infused brand of indie. “West Cozy” is the title track from the band’s 2015 release and leaves on with the impression that is was created by fairyfolk from some unseen realm of magic rather than actual human beings from Pittsburgh. Listen to “West Cozy” below and then dive on into other offerings from Creature People through their Bandcamp page.

Raquelle Langlinais

“Blind”

We have another song offering from Texas, this one from the town of Tyler, with Raquelle Langlinais’ indie pop gem, “Blind”. This track comes to us from the artist’s two track single which came out last year. Langlinais has an airy, lithe vocal style that rides the carbonated current of coffee shop pop.  Check out “Blind” and stick around for the digital “B-Side” of her single; a demo track titled, “Machines”.

Catch the Worldbeat! Or, 5 Tracks You Should Know

worldbeat 00by Mark Anderson
Senior Editor

Ah, the blanket definition of the term “world music.”

I must start this article with some block text copy from Wikipedia that I find fascinating and hilarious so, if you’re not into that, go ahead and skip right down to the bands.

Still with me? Cool.

I’m sure your familiar with the term being “popularized in the 1980s as a marketing category for non-Western traditional music .” But I betcha’ didn’t know that “the term has been credited to ethnomusicologist Robert E. Brown, who coined it in the early 1960s at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where he developed undergraduate through the doctoral programs in the discipline”? I didn’t anyway.

It reads on, “There are several conflicting definitions for world music. One is that it consists of ‘all the music in the world’, though such a broad definition renders the term virtually meaningless.”

Worldbeat more specifically “blends Western pop music or rock music with world music or folk music influences. It may include cutting edge pop music styles as well. Succinctly, it can be described as ‘local music from out there’ or ‘someone else’s local music’.” I like those.

I’ve covered world music before, but that was with an Arizona focus. Now that we’ve gone (inter?)national, I decided to extend the focus of this article on artists from around the country and globe.

Let’s explore the music of everyone’s backyard…

Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra

Oppression Scatter

OK, I admit it, this was my first experience with a 360⁰ video on YouTube. Sure, the technology’s been available for a little over a year now but what can I say other than that I’m thoroughly happy that my “first time” was with Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra and their beautiful tune, “Oppression Scatter.” One of the original songs the group has penned together, “Oppression Scatter” is a crowd favorite that keeps the body moving all while delivering a conscious message: “Can you see them suffer? Can you see?” And, you gotta love that bari sax. Make sure to check out the video below and go see them live for FREE when the play the Crescent Ballroom 5 Year Anniversary Party on Monday October 3rd!

Chanelle Gray ft. Rayvon

Nuff Tings

Chanelle Gray is an up-and-coming singer/songwriter from South London currently residing in New York while Rayvon is the Barbadian-born-Brooklyn-raised dancehall singer known for his work with Shaggy (“Angel” anyone?), as well as his own solo career. The two have teamed up to deliver us this modern reggae classic, “Nuff Tings”. Chanelle’s vocals are both silky and sultry, completely drawing you in with their melody. Rayvon offers the perfect counter-balance with lyrics delivered like wildfire: burning quick and hot one minute, smoldering the next. Make sure to rock “Nuff Tings” below.

RoseMary Fiki

I Got It

Damn RoseMary Fiki, where’d you come from?? This Nigerian-American singer-songwriter based out of Philadelphia has changed up her style and sound with the release of her latest single, “I Got It.” Though this song sounds more inline with someone like Azealia Banks, I actually enjoy RoseMary Fiki’s previous work as well (think more Bruce Springsteen and Erykah Badu… I know, dude), but “I Got It” is something else entirely. Clearly more pop, while at the same time embracing many Africana influences, especially in the vocal chants. “I Got It” has quickly become a favorite of mine. I certainly look forward to where RoseMary goes from here. Bump “I Got It” below.

Dreggae

Rum Days, Vodka Nights

You know how when something gets labeled and marketed as “cool” it doesn’t always get the projected outcome its creat0rs had in mind? I feel if anyone can live up to the moniker “The New School Ruler of Cool”, it’s Dreggae, the Jamaican bred, Atlanta- based dancehall/reggae songwriter. Being a descendant of the great dub master King Tubby certainly doesn’t hurt either. Although “Rum Days, Vodka Nights” appears to be a few years old, it’s the first track off Dreggae’s new Roots. Rock. Dreggae. album which for now is only available through his website (hey, collecting one’s singles and re-branding the material as an album never hurt anybody). The song is bouncy and playful, Dreggae’s smooth vocal delivery perfectly complimentary to the music. Although it contains many elements of classic reggae, it’s clearly something newly inspired by hip hop and pop, and definitely feel good. Listen to “Rum Days, Vodka Nights” below.

Congratulatinos

Caroline

“Even if someone (or something) breaks your heart, that is beautiful and incredibly valuable. You will forever carry a part of them with you. And you are more alive for letting yourself having gotten hurt like that.” So states the Congratulatinos with their new single “Caroline”, the first track off their new album Don’t Fade. Based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts, you could almost never guess that hearing their spellbinding track and it’s worldly influences. Dropping out of a PhD program, splitting up with your girlfriend, and breaking up with your band led principle member Diego Ardila to startling revelations: “I learned to Salsa dance. I recorded on my own. I cried at night for no reason or sometimes because I missed her so badly but I found solace in West African rhythm and the heartbreak of Bachata music.” You can definitely hear all these influences in “Caroline”. And I’m certainly glad he teamed up again with member Marco DeLiso because, now that they’re the Congratulatinos, we’re all the better for it. Check out “Caroline” below.