Aretha Franklin brought color, texture, and movement to so many songs over the years. We all know her classics after a few notes. But I was unfamiliar with “Only the One You Love” when I first heard it, and loved the record as soon as I heard it. The song was released in 1967 as part of the album Take it like You Give It on Columbia Records. It featured production from various musicians such as Clyde Otis, who produced this song. Aretha, born in 1942, Memphis, Tennessee, began singing as a child in her father’s church in Detroit, Michigan. She recorded first as a teenager and was a veteran in the music industry by the age of 25, when this record was released. Recording well over 40 albums, Aretha amassed countless hit singles, and has been given too many awards to name. The album Take It Like You Give It represents a special part of her earlier career before earning the title of Queen of Soul.
The analog recording of this record is warm and clear. It features some incredibly simple yet sincere melodies; a secret which has always given Aretha’s voice the proper vehicle to drive with so many great producers, song writers, or arrangers. I was not able to find who the musicians were who played on this record, but I suspect it was The Wrecking Crew, who played on many of Columbia Records recording sessions during the 60s. The beginning notes of the guitar become the sweet loop to contrast what sounds like pain and forgiveness in Aretha’s voice. The bass is under the guitar and the piano as the drummer does an incredible job of walking the pace, slowly, yet noticeably together. It’s a beautiful tune to play for anyone who has fallen out of love, only to fall right back in.
It’s rare when you hear a spoken word artist who stops you completely in your tracks! Kate Tempest is so arresting in her delivery, you have no other choice but to listen! Hailing from South London, Brockley, Tempest captures the essence of London life through her storytelling, though often a grim reality, there still lies redemption in every song. Her sophomore album Everybody Down hits stores May 19th through Big Dada and will be 12 chapters of one overarching story with production from Dan Carey (M.I.A., Bat of Lashes Santigold, Brazilian Girls).
At only 27 years old, Tempest has covered a lot turf — she has written three theatre plays Wasted, Brand New Ancients, and Glasshouse shown at various theatre houses in London; published a book of poetry through Bloomsbury, with a new collection scheduled to publish this year through Picador; lectured at London’s Goldsmith University and Yale University for creative writing classes; and has worked on the Amnesty International program assisting secondary (High School) students while write their own protest songs. Check out “Lonely Daze” below, the first single from the her forthcoming album Everybody Down.
To be completely honest, hearing about the Yasiin + Gaye project did not excite me as much as Amerigo Gazaway‘s Bizarre Tribe: A Quest to the Pharcyde did, mainly because I am a die hard Marvin Gaye fan with the belief that his music is sacred and should not be remixed. However, after listening to Yasiin Gaye: The Departure, it becomes clear just how immersed Gazaway is in Marvin Gaye‘s sound, focusing on his prized possession — the voice. Song titles are subverted into something else and elements heard are taken from several songs sometimes, even other artists, as shown on “I Want You Till the Summertime.” One would think it would be a remix of “I Want You” but instead we hear Yasiin singing the melody of Bob Marley‘s “Sun is Shining” and the music’s foundation is taken from Gaye’s “Mercy Mercy Me?” “Sexual Healing” is perhaps my least favourite Gaye song, due to its cross into the 80s sterile drum machine sound. However, by slightly changing the pitch of Gaye’s vocals, setting them against a slowed down “What’s Going On?” bassline, and even sprinkling a touch of Teddy Pendergrass, “Come On & Go With Me” the track, and an occasional wail from Yasiin, “The Panties” will certainly do the task of sexual healing.
Yasiin Gaye: The Departure is available as a free download and we suggest you grab your copy fast! From the success of Gazaway‘s Fela Soul and Bizarre Tribe: A Quest to the Pharcyde these links will not be available for long! Get your download here!
Gearing up for a solid year, Kelis intends to take us on a journey through her favourite food. Graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in 2013, Kelis launched her own product line of sauces called Feast, and on February 26th The Cooking Channel will premier a cooking special “Saucy & Sweet” with Kelis as she opens the doors to her life as a singer and chef. Her new album, aptly titled Food will releases April 28th. Judging from these strategic moves, Kelis plan is to become a household name. Below is the official video for “Jerk Ribs.” Was expecting something a bit more gritter and down home but I suppose it’s all about depicting a particular lifestyle, as Kelis wants us to know, “My passion is food, my life is an adventure to be savored.”
A little late on posting, but we can’t have a Little Dragon release go by unnoticed! As briefly mentioned earlier this month, our Swedish gems are set to release their fourth studio album Nabuma Rubberband (UK May 12, US May 13 US) and are getting very creative in grabbing the attention of fans through their pre-promotions. Starting with a intimate video featured in their communal home, giving us a taste of what off stage life is like for the band. Last week was their most advantageous — a promotion with a personable touch. They instructed fans to visit their website, enter their phone number and Yukimi would call you, seemingly before your eyes. Each band member calls you and dispels some kind of information on what they’re doing or what they like to do, then they perform the track “Klapp Klapp” at the end. Ingenious in execution, further extending their free flowing vibe. Check it out here.
Below is the official video for “Klapp Klapp.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t feature the band in action, but I suppose the real treat is their phone promotion. Nonetheless, May 13th cannot come sooner!
SOHN pretty much came out of left field last year with his debut single, “Bloodlines” and had a solid remainder of 2013 by completing a run of shows, and receiving acclaim from BBC Radio’s Zane Lowe and singer Migel. “Artifice,” taken from his forthcoming album Tremors, is the first visual we get of SOHN. The video, directed by Thom Glunt, slowly pans a dark, chaotic scene and somehow within the chaos, it is pure calm. Tremors is set to release April 8th on 4AD and SOHN will begin touring in the UK, Europe and North America in April starting with Austria, where the London native currently lives. Show dates are listed below.
4th – Rockhouse, Salzburg, Austria [Tickets]
5th – Conrad Sohm, Dornbirn, Austria [Tickets]
8th – Gebaude 9, Cologne, Germany [Tickets]
9th – Exit 07, Luxembourg [Tickets]
11th – Uebel & Gefahrlich, Hamburg, Germany [Tickets]
12th – Lagerhalle, Osnabruck, Germany [Tickets]
13th – Heimathafen, Berlin, Germany [Tickets]
14th – AB Club, Brussels, Belgium [Tickets]
16th – Melkweg, Amsterdam, Holland
17th – Village Underground, London, UK [Tickets]
19th – Nouveau Casino, Paris, France [Tickets]
20th – Zoom, Frankfurt, Germany [Tickets]
23rd – Arena, Vienna, Austria [Tickets]
7th – Rock & Roll Hotel, Washington, DC, US [Tickets]
8th – Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia PA, US [Tickets]
9th – Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY, US [Tickets]
10th – Rough Trade, Brooklyn, NY, US [Tickets]
12th – The Sinclair, Boston, MA, US [Tickets]
13th – Ill Motore, Montreal, QC, Canada [Tickets]
14th – Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto, ON, Canada [Tickets]
15th – The Pike Room, Detroit, MI, US [Tickets]
16th – Bottom Lounge, Chicago, IL, US [Tickets]
17th – 7th St Entry, Minneapolis, MN, US [Tickets]
20th – Fortune Sound Club, Vancouver, BC, Canada [Tickets]
21st – The Crocodile, Seattle, WA, US [Tickets]
22nd – Holocene, Portland, OR, US [Tickets]
24th – Independent, San Francisco, CA, US [Tickets]
25th – The Casbah, San Diego, CA, US [Tickets]
27th – Troubadour, Los Angeles, CA, US [Tickets]
7th – Field Day, London, UK
Polish producer, instrumentalist, songwriter and vocalist, Lukasz Plenikowski a.k.a. Uku is a newcomer to the EDM world and is certainly off to a great start. Under the moniker of Typewriter, he released the post-rock electronica track “Flood,” and later moved on to write several soundtracks for short feature films. Now with his debut EP Intension, he continues to explore those undefinable electronic sounds and features two remixes of “Forest 5am” by Kidkanevil and label mate Yoggyone. Check out the EP teaser below, which can be preordered from Eklektik Records.
This makes us very happy, especially after hearing “Twice” on Being Mary Jane a few weeks ago (yes, a guilty pleasure). Branding company Yours Truly have put together this teaser, where we get an intimate snapshot of Little Dragon in their communal Gothenberg home. The more you learn about this band, the more captivated you become by their authenticity. Their lives take different forms and they adapt according to the shape, which simply adds to their cohesiveness. Their fourth album, Nabuma Rubberband is set to release this spring and from the jazzy intro to “Klapp Klapp,” featured on the video below, we can’t wait!
In this visually gorgeous EPK, British-born, Nigerial singer/multi-instrumentalist Adé Siji introduces himself and the music for his third album, Home Grown, scheduled to release in the spring of 2014. This EPK not only introduces him to new listeners but also appears fresh to those who are already familiar. Intimately shot and capturing images of the various places that represent home, Siji walks us through the process behind of Home Grown, which for Siji was an act of realigning himself with his roots, exploring organic sounds to bring the pulse of Nigeria to the forefront. Featuring songs “Lagos Lullaby,” “This Must Be Love,” “Children of the Sun,” and “Ferese” all in that soothing, Siji kind of way. Through this exploration, he began work on the documentary Elders Corner, which looks at the history of Nigeria told through the lives and careers of the nation’s music legends. It is currently in post-production to be released this year also. Stay tuned for more updates on this release. But in the meantime, watch the video below!
Last April, Kelis released single “Call Me” produced by David Sitek (TV on the Radio) and we assumed an album was soon to follow. Well it seems the album, entitled Food is set to release April 23rd on Ninja Tunes records. All tracks are produced by Sitek and from the sound of this single, there is a clear direction in sound, shirting on the retro-side. While Kelis is not known for having a strong set of pipes, her style and tone are the elements that keep us looking out for her next moves. And the palatable song titles are a great way to prematurely satiate one tastes buds. Check out the album’s tracklisting and “Jerk Ribs” below.
1. “Jerk Ribs”
3. “Forever Be”
8. “Bless the Telephone”
9. “Fish Fry”
12. “Biscuits ‘n’ Gravy”
Continuing the journey of self-empowerment, here is the new video from Berlin-based artist Genda, with”Different Faces.” The video, shot in Lesotho, Namibia, and South Africa where the imaginary is simply gorgeous — expansive panoramic views beautifully illustrating faces of Africa, mirroring the song’s lyrics of, “Different people, different places, live the same life, different faces, different stages of life, see how time flies in different time zones at the same time.” Shot and edited by Rickie Klingler, a German student who during her travels gathered this footage to perfectly capture the song. To learn more about Genda, visit his website at www.GendaMusic.com.
They’ll be no hair being whipped back and forth on this one. Willow Smith and her brother Jaden have come together for what is, surprisingly, a cool tune! “5,” produced by Ta-Ku (Calvin Harris, Lady Sovereign, The Ting Tings) clearly has bought the best out of Willow; her vocals are fresh — even sexy for her 13-year-old self. The vibe of “5” has Willow poetically singing about the feelings of a crush. Jaden enters the track midway where his storytelling comes across a bit hurried, loaded with too many details, unrelated to the song. That said, his flow is age appropriate and is influenced by all that is hot right now – most notably Kendrick Lamar. Though Willow’s 2010 song”Whip My Hair” was a huge hit, it did not highlight her singing talent as much as “5” does. This looks very promising. Well done, Willow! Check out “5” below.
Since releasing The Cherry Thing with jazz collective The Thing in 2012 (listen here), an album of covers that sort to defy musical conventions by interconnecting different genres. The natural progression for Neneh Cherry is her long awaited solo project (her last solo release was in 1996; so it more than time)! Neneh‘s expansive and pioneering musical background fuels this new album Blank Project that is set to release February 26th on Smalltown Supersound label. It sounds like nothing we’ve heard from her in the past; highly poetic, musically sparse, fluid drums, and raw vocals filled with vulnerability and soul. Blank Project has a collaboration with RocketNumberNine (London brothers, Tom & Ben Page) and is produced by Four Tet, with a guest appearance by Swedish singer Robyn. Check out “Everything” below, then head over to Amazon | iTunes to pre-order.
NENEH CHERRY EUROPEAN TOUR DATES:
Tue. Feb. 25 – London, UK @ Rough Trade London (in-store performance)
Wed. Feb. 26 – London, UK @ Concrete – BUY TIX
Sat. March 1 – Paris, FR @ La Gaite Lyrique – BUY TIX
Sun. March 2 – Amsterdam, NL @ Bitterzoet – BUY TIX
Mon. March 3 – Brussels, BE @ AB club – BUY TIX
Wed. March 5 – Hamburg, DE @ Uebel & Gefaehrlich – BUY TIX
Thu. March 6 – Berlin, DE @ Berghain – BUY TIX
Fri. March 7 – Cologne, DE @ Stadtgarten – BUY TIX
Always keeping the sexy barometer set on high, Mar and producer Full Crate join forces for his forthcoming EP Form, set to release on Bad Manor towards the end of the month. The first single “Man x Woman“ give us a different flavour with this house tune that skirts between full-on dance track to a downtempo smoothed out synths-based tune. From the sound of this new single, we anticipate Form exploring different sounds yet staying very to true to what both Mar and Full Crate have developed over the years. Head over to the Bad Manor Facebook Page for download.
It’s hard to believe that almost four years have passed since we were first introduced to the Seattle-based soul duo, Malice and Mario Sweet with their debut single “Speed of Light.” Since then they released Happy 2 Year to commemorate their second wedding anniversary, and now with the single “Celebration” to mark their fifth year anniversary. There are not many duos who are able to make music that is a genuine expression of love, and Malice and Mario do it effortlessly. Their likening to the 80 soul sound works perfectly with their vocal style, as their beautiful harmonies are as comforting as a gentle stroke to your head. Leaves you feeling all fuzzy inside.