As much as this artist goes against my wish to see the “white guys making soul music” trend go away, this track from new Austin-based artist Max Frost is an absolute gem of a single. Drawing strong comparisons to Gnarls Barkley (not entirely unwarranted), “White Lies” is a hand-clapping finger wag against a shady former lover. Though, you may get too caught up in dancing along to notice.
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Lest you thought this blog was going to get all dub nasty after the events of SnowGlobe, here comes a deliciously retro jam from Terri Walker and Nicole Wray. The two R&B veterans have teamed up to form Lady, and join artists like Lee Fields & The Expressions and El Michels Affair on Truth & Soul Records. Without the production values, you might expect “Money” to be a rare, unearthed soul record from the 50s era from which it owes its sound. Chirpy and full of sass, it’s a throwback tune that’ll earn a few repeat plays.
This is one of those rare occasions where I’m at a loss for words. Came across this quartet from Liverpool today and was immediately addicted to “Ill Fit,” a jam off an upcoming album to be released next year. Can’t think of another time where a song about a relationship mismatch sounded so sexy. They come from rival cities, but maybe Wave Machines was working from The Smiths’ playbook of lyrical and rhythmic dichotomy. Either way, this is some freshy freshness – as if we didn’t have enough to look forward to in October already. The single “Ill Fit” officially drops October 22nd.
Frank Ocean is the Michael Jackson of R&B. Oh ho, heavy proclamation you say? Obviously you haven’t heard “Pyramids,” the first single off his upcoming debut, Channel Orange. There’s an eery resemblance to Jackson’s “Earth Song,” if slightly less cataclysmic. At the very least, with a 9-minute long narrative journey, Ocean embraces the ambition and grandeur of Jackson’s later years. “Pyramids” manages to capture the uncomfortable, slowly crushing tension of a changed relationship.
Ocean‘s profile has been steadily growing over the past year or so. Breaking out as the sensitive (and more long lasting) element of the OFWGKTA crew, Ocean’s Nostaliga, Ultra mixtape foreshadowed an impending force in R&B and the music industry. Having penned songs for artists like Justin Bieber, John Legend and Beyonce, his relationship with Def Jam as an artist improved, and he gained several guest spots on the highly exclusive Watch the Throne album. Now he has a true LP to drop July 17th and a nationwide tour that’s guaranteed to make eyes water and panties drop across the US.
There’s a gap in the market for someone like Frank Ocean to fill, that hasn’t been occupied since the slow fade of R. Kelly. And maybe he’ll never reach the level Michael Jackson did (who can?), but he’s got the experience, talent and grace to solidify his place in music history.
So Electric Guest thought they could get away with being LA’s resident white kids with soul. Not so fast, says Newbury Park natives The Neighbourhood. After releasing “Female Robbery” on SoundCloud a couple months ago, they’ve dropped another early hit with “Sweater Weather.”
While the whole “mysterious” marketing gimmick is kind of played out, the music speaks for itself. “Sweater Weather” is a sexy next-era indie jam with high production values and a massive backdrop.