Posts Tagged ‘alternative soul’

May 8, 2018

Aww yeah, I knew we’d be in for some new Jungle soon considering the collective’s recent touring activities, and here we are, with not one but two new jams (and videos) from the funk and soul loving Londoners! Happy Man and House In LA are our first new Jungle tunes since the band lit us on fire with their 2014 self-titled debut album. Hopefully, this means their sophomore album is arriving soon, and a new expansive tour is on its way, since I had to miss their stop in San Francisco a few weeks back. Happy Man is classic Jungle, a funky strutting, soulful swaggering affair. It’s lavish and opulent, dashing and suave. House In LA, however, bucks the usual Jungle pizzazz for a heady and sleek, dreamy and warped shimmer, kind of like James Vincent McMorrow gone psychedelic plush whilst enveloped by Radiohead’s orchestral electronica. While Happy Man might be the immediately hooking song out of the two, there’s no doubt House In LA is my favorite and the most brilliant offering. Happy Man and House In LA are both available now from XL Recordings, here and here, respectively.

April 30, 2018
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Ah, Zanski and that slinky burning drawl… It melts me to the core every time I listen to one of his tunes. I guess you could say I’m a “fool’ for Fool, but in a good way. The electro-soul and R&B funk swooner is the Canadian artist’s latest exhibition of fine musicality and expert delivery, a Jai Paul meets Opia and RKCB sort of gooey, moody sonic courter. It’s a new taste from Zanski’s forthcoming EP, Derivative Emotion, arriving next month. You can also jam out to Fool on Spotify, here.

April 26, 2018
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It’s taken nearly a year for James Gillepsie to return with a new single, but Dead In The Water was more than worth that long wait. The British crooner first impressed us with a sound reminiscent of Hozier, James Blake, and Jake Garratt on his debut single What You Do, and now he’s back with more of that gritty soulfulness and potent resonance on Dead In The Water, on which he also reminds us of Rag’N’Bone Man and Dermot Kennedy this time around. A hypnotic, stripped back piano melody is paired with a beautifully uncoiling, expansively unwinding chorus on the magnificent track. Speaking on Dead In The Water, James states: “It’s about knowing you’ve fallen before you do, the feeling that you will carry on floating aimlessly without that love. In this case, its a forbidden one – that you both want but can’t have. I produced it with Mike Spencer, whose studio’s in the middle of a wood; it definitely captured a moment, turning off the lights and recording vocals using only the light coming through the trees.”

April 13, 2018
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We’re rather crestfallen that we didn’t get a chance to catch Stevie Wolf when we were at SXSW last month despite how much he’s enamored us with with his sooty yet vulnerable sound, a rousing fusion of alt pop, bluesy rock, and electro-soul. Listening to new single Yves Klein Blue leaves us hoping we’ll get a new chance to catch him in California somewhere down the line. After all, Colorado isn’t too far away, right? Stevie Wolf has delivered a song that alternates between booming determination and tender introspection. He explores feelings of loneliness and disconnection on Yves Klein Blue, which exposes those innermost thoughts of wanting to find a true connection and raises the question “could you ever know me at all?” Stevie’s growing presence in the new music scene has lead to countless streams on his prior singles as well as coveted placements on Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist and the US Viral 50 list. Keep up with him on his quirky, clever website, here.

April 11, 2018

Swimming with bears could be an amazing, life-changing experience, or it could be the worst idea ever. I’d imagine the latter holds true 99.9% of the time. Fortunately for us, instead of swimming with bears, we can dip into the music of a band named Swimming With Bears instead from the safety of dry land, far away from any clawed beast. And trust me, you’re going to be “ooh la la-ing” your way to heaven to the Austin based four piece’s recent single, French Girls. Funky alt soul and a lavish dance rock groove lure us into the band’s Portugal. the Man meets Fitz and the Tantrums-like dance-ready jam. This is the sort of song that will be put a spring in your step and a massive smile on your face. Don’t be surprised if you can’t stop listening to French Girls, it’s that addictive. Grab the tune, here, and keep up with Swimming With Bears, here.

April 5, 2018

I have made it a mission in my life to see Albin Lee Meldau live. I can only imagine how immensely moving that experience would be, considering his gravelly voice and the sheer force of the emotion he puts into his singing. The Gothenburg singer songwriter returned this week with a new video and a remix EP for The Weight Is Gone, a soul soaked rock and dance pop swinger that signals a striking new creative direction for the artist. Vivacious pleats of beats and sweeping strings adorn the reverb-heavy jam. Albin confesses how love can sometimes feels like a heavy curse on the song, lifted from his forthcoming debut album due out this summer on Astralwerks. If you’ve yet to watch Albin Lee Meldau’s NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert series appearance, you can watch the performance, here. The Weight Is Gone is available, here, and we’ll be sure to be on the lookout for details regarding Albin’s debut album. 

April 3, 2018
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Poignant and bittersweet is the retro soulful pop found in Crying, a song from Speak In Rhythms, an album that Carmanah dropped last month. The trio, who hails from Victoria, Canada, bewitch us with their dusty lilting tune and spectacular vocals by lead singer Laura Mina. The 60s styled ballad would fit right into a Twin Peaks episode with its vintage charm and Roadhouse ready magnetism. A hint of Teddy Sinclair and a touch of early Cults also imbue the track, though there’s far more of a classic a throwback aura. Making me fall even harder for the song is the aching guitar solo. You can stream Speak In Rhythms in full on Soundcloud, here.

April 3, 2018

The expression “speaking in tongues” has always intrigued me since it tends to do with the occult, but now we get to associate the phrase with this fine song from Joseph J. Jones, too! The English singer songwriter, who used to be a boxer, enthralls us with his gravelly voice on the bluesy and soulful alt track, again reminding us of fellow crooners like Rag’N’Bone Man, Hozier, Alex Clare, and the likes. The epic anthem comes with a vividly crafted music video directed by Gregg Houstin and Babysweet. Speaking in Tongues is available, here.

March 28, 2018

We might have missed out on this newcomer from the Midwest up till now, but it’s better late than never. And I’m sure you’ll agree once you’ve taken in the majesty and beauty of 1010 Benja SL’s R&B soul on recent single Wind Up Space. Tell me this isn’t a phenomenally moving piece, embellished with grand orchestral strings and brass. The electronic production on the song is immaculate, too, and 1010 Benja SL’s clarion voice emits such powerful anguish and regret. Wind Up Space is both cosmic and austere. Watch the starkly moving video for the song above, and stream his song Boofiness below, too. 

March 28, 2018
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I’m a very level headed person who doesn’t startle easily (my friends use me as a “human shield” when we visit haunted houses for Halloween). So it’s very hard to make me jump or act frenetic with sudden noises. You could say my reaction to such a predicament might be reflected in the slinky burning drawl of this new Zanski jam, Reaction To Sudden Noise. The hazy, sooty velour of the song is a must for fans of projects like Opia, Two Feet, slenderbodies, and the such. The Toronto based alt R&B/soul artist seduces us with his torrid funk guitars and his buttery voice on the fine addition to his slowly growing repertoire of chic and sexy tunes. An EP will be arriving on May 18th. For now, you can also spin Reaction To Sudden Noise off Spotify, here.