I love the Talking Heads. This isn't a secret to anyone really. Last year I had the chance to witness Angelique Kidjo do her Remain in Light set at Bonnaroo. To say I was blown away would be an understatement. Angelique has now recorded her version of The Talking Heads's classic album and "Born Under Punches" was first to be put out into the universe. Put this on and just dance. End of story. If this doesn't get you moving, I don't know what to tell you.
I mean wow. Nolatet came out swinging with "Bluebelly". This is the first song from their debut album and they have put their own spin on New Orleans Jazz. Brian Haas's piano work is just exquisite on the whole track. Johnny Vidacovich is absolutely dialed in on the drums, adding in numerous little fills all over the place. James Singleton holds the track together with his bass and finally Mike Dillion's work on the vibraphone just makes me smile and laugh at what he accomplishes during the song. This is a powerhouse quartet and they are going on a short tour of the US this spring, don't miss it.
Sometimes others turn me onto thing that I then try and get others in to. The next musician and song came my way through an email list that goes around with many music lovers based in New York City. The Freaks know what they are talking about and Carolina Eyck's latest song "Reja" was released recently. She is an absolute wizard on the theremin. This is not an easy instrument to conquer at all and she just left me in awe on first listen of the song. Her voice is also gorgeous and she layers her voice onto itself many times to create this wall of sound and the only two noises you hear for the entirety of the song is her voice and the theremin. It's hypnotic and intoxicating. Please enjoy!
River Whyless, who I've had the chance to see a number of times, just released "Born In The Right Country". Great harmonies as usual from the crew, as well as their mix of Americana and various experimental musings. What I love about the song is that it very much a product of today's world. Many people are stuck in the life they were born in. This could mean they can't move up in social class or literally cannot leave where they came from and find a better place due to the laws of the land. The USA is a messed up place right now, and has been for some time, and hopefully we can change things around. It's a great song and should find a hold in today's world.
Well hello to Kadhja Bonet and her new song "Mother Maybe". This track is a funky psychedelic disco soul jazz fusion of the best degree. I just see a movie trailer throughout this song from the grindhouse/b-movie/pulp era of cinema. Man this song is so glorious and upon every listen I hear new details in it. Her voice is silky and smooth throughout and the music behind her just lets her voice soar and do work. She goes from this normally pitched structure into this wild wail that goes to registers that just seem hard to hit, but she does it with ease. The backing vocals are a great compliment as well during the verses. What I love about this song too is that Kadhja played almost every instrument, which I always find wonderful. For an artist to just say I know what I want and I can lay it down exactly how I hear it is what dreams are made of. Please get down with yourself and just enjoy the hell out of this song. The full album, Childqueen, is out June 8.
Time for more dancing and this time it's Brazilian Girls with "Balla Balla". Recorded after playing it live, the whole song has this wonderful loose feel. The band were definitely feeling it themselves after the live crowd hollered in approval of the song. The track mixes aspects of electronic sounds, 40's dance halls, punk rock attitude, and a wonderful high pitch vocal take from frontwoman Sabina Sciubba. It's infectious and has been on repeat all week. In the right setting I see this song going longer than it's almost five minutes on record and helping bring the sunrise up after an all night party to keep it going.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I will continue to try and champion my friends who make wonderful music. Arielle, better known as Girl Blue has released her latest track "Lolita". Musically, it's a laid back 80's synth heavy track that lulls you into a sense of security. The lyrics though are important here. She discusses the loss of innocence that young women go through in a world that expects them to have that innocence forever, while also growing up as quickly as possible. Society has done this to women forever and it's a universally felt feeling that she has encapsulated perfectly. There is a lot more to come from Girl Blue so be on the lookout.
If this next song doesn't turn into an anthem then we have failed. Seinabo Sey released "I Owe You Nothing" a couple of weeks back and it hit my radar and it is just a woman telling everyone to back down and get out of her way. I have a feeling somewhere along the line someone treated her wrong and she had it. She has a great voice and there's a great beat driving the song forward. The video is visually stunning with all of it's different locations and wardrobes. Seinabo is very comfortably with herself and it just comes through in the song. I really love all the empowering anthems that women are coming out with on what feels like a daily basis. Keep taking everything back ladies, you have definitely earned it and you deserve it.
Wild Moccasins latest "Boyish Wave" is lightning in a bottle. In a Fleetwood Mac-esque turn of events, the band's lead vocalist Zahira Gutierrez and lead guitarist Cody Swann broke up as the last album came out and they had to tour behind it. Songs began to form during this time. This song is the first product of that time period. The synths are heavy and Zahira's voice is strong. The lyrics are about going against the grain of what people were saying to her as she began to date again and the choices they thought she should make. It's a great song and should be in your rotation immediately.