There is a lot to cover this week, so lets get into it!! Taking a leap from her musical inspirations – Janet Jackson, Sade and even Stevie Wonder – the French-East African born songstress Shay Lia dropped today her stunning new EP Dangerous. What I love about it and can definitely hear is the inspired sounds for instance of Janet Jackson’s That’s The Way Love Goes especially on the album’s title track Dangerous, Voodoo and Good Together. Dangerous is definitely a nice homage to some of the greats of R&B and soul, yet still refreshing enough as a contemporary R&B record in its own right too. I look forward to the rise of this young Montreal-based artist.
Indie musicians Slingshot Dakota are back with their new album Heavy Banding. For those unfamiliar with husband and wife duo, Carly Comando and Tom Patterson, they have been around for more than a decade now, showcasing their signature power-pop, notably impressing upon us Comando’s angst lyrics and keyboard-led sound with Patterson’s upbeat drumming. More of the same on Heavy Banding.
If you are a fan of indie-folk and retro R&B you will love Atlanta-based Faye Webster’s sophomore release Atlanta Millionaires Club which showcases her knack for intimate storytelling. At its centre is heartbreak and sadness, something that permeates through almost every single fibre of Webster’s being. On the subject of songwriting Webster says,“Everything is way personal. I’ve never been that kind of person who can read a book and then write a song about the book. I have to write about very personal things for me to even want to write.”
I first discovered Joan Wasser aka Joan As Police Woman’s album Real Life in 2007. It was a time when I had just started to explore new music that was different from what I was used to. From it came a song called The Ride arguably a metaphor for the journey we would take with her. Since then, everything she does is geared at being different and inventive. No two songs are the same as she pushes and blurs the boundaries of soul, jazz, pop and indie rock with ground breaking results. With the release of Joan Wasser’s Joanthology, it serves as a flawless illustration of the brilliant and eclectic nature and vision she has as a musician. As part of her expansive new anthology, a sublime performance recorded for the BBC Music sessions is included, as well as two new tracks What A World and a reimagined cover version of Prince’s Kiss.
For more on Joan As Police Woman check out my interview with Joan Wasser here.
The release of Middle Kids (Hannah Joy, Harry Day and Tim Fitz) six track mini-album, New Songs For Old Problems follows hot on the heels of their debut album Lost Friends. It’s a joyous little record that celebrates their strengths as indie rockers with plenty of melody and fuzzed-out guitars. Standouts include Beliefs & Prayers, Real Thing and Salt Eyes.
Hip-hop, funk, electronica and jazz infused landscapes make Steven ‘Flying Lotus’ Elison’s Flamagra feel like a slick futuristic soundtrack. Incredibly it spans across 27 songs, but don’t be put off, most of the tracks are somewhere near two mintues in length. The single More featuring Anderson.PAAK is a standout. Equally mesmerised is the dystopian animated music video featuring a rapping robot!!