In the final installment of his Art Dealer Chic series, Miguel further develops his experimental evolution within the R&B realm. With each volume diving deeper and deeper into Miguel’s multifarious artistry, his sophomore album is looking more promising than ever. In different ways, each volume is proof that Miguel’s debut LP was a clear understatement of all that he has to offer.
Sam Sparro is certainly an artist that you should know. With his creativity, he does not release music; he creates statements.
His newest single, “I Wish I Never Met You,” from his forthcoming release, Return to Paradise, is impressive by all accounts. Sonically, vocally, and lyrically, Sam’s talent outpours on this track. Staying true to the vintage motif this era, the song is as retro as it is refreshing. The accompanying visual is complete icing. Press play now.
There’s nothing more pleasurable than sensual sounds and atmospheric textures that envelop your mind, body, and soul. Mar‘s debut EP, Seeing Her Naked. From the seductive production, amorous vocals, and unapologetically sexual lyrics, this is a project for those that appreciate stimulation of all forms. Mar’s atheistic of “mood music” is translated into one of the best EPs that I’ve heard this year. By the time the last song concludes, you’ve already climaxed—musically or otherwise. I recommend you do the following: download, and look out for his debut LP.
Lianne La Havas brings the gut-wrenching soul on “Empty,” a new track included with the purchase of her single, “Lost & Found” (now available).
Performing the song on her tour bus, this footage is a perfect example of just how special Lianne truly is. Even when she isn’t performing on the stage, Lianne still loses herself in the expression of the pain and story behind the song; her transparency is breathtaking. Without doing much at all, Lianne continues to remind us what genuine artistry is all about.
If there’s any who doubt signing is not just a talent, but a gift, turn your ears to Rachelle Ferrell. Composer, lyricist, arranger, musician, and vocalist, Ms. Ferrell is a force to be reckoned with. Heralded largely for her uncanny ability to use her voice as a true instrument, from echoing the sound of birds, climbing up and down scales with ease, to holding ear-deafening notes longer than most could only dream, this woman is affectionately labeled a “singer’s singer” from the likes of Patti LaBelle, Anita Baker, and Ledisi.
With no frills or no forced images of glamor, the thrill all lies with her extraordinary voice. In the vein of “The Voice”(Whitney Houston) , Rachelle Ferrell is too a singer who can just stand still and sing while dazzling audiences in the process. For those fortunate to know her music, count it a treasure. If unfamiliar with this living legend, get schooled below…
A little less than a month away from the release of their anticipated debut album, Sonnymoon have released a video for their newest single, “Wild Rumpus. With each release be it audio or visual the duo elevates their artistic wonders to new heights. This is extremely abstract, partly frightening, and intriguing all the same. Sonnymoon states it best:
Sonnymoon encourages you to contact your animal side with Wild Rumpus, their second single off of their upcoming eponymous LP. As the title suggests, this cut questions what separates Human from Animal. it opens like the dawn with the morning sun, bright and boisterous, with the energy of a gang of thirsty animals at a watering hole. Forget your responsibilities and dance around like a fool for 4 minutes and 51 seconds, after which we promise you will feel more alive.
Dawn Richard is somewhat of a musical obsession. As luck would have it, she is currently on tour with PJ Morton. When she hits the stage, the performer truly comes alive. As she blazed through a little Dirty Money, covered Prince, Frank Ocean, and of course her own material from her truly impressive EP Armor On, she was memorizing. Her 30-minute set is definitely worth a watch.
Just as Brandy’s Behind The Music ended, I was left in shear admiration. Not just for her vocal gifts, but for her truly humble spirit and candor as well. As it has been four years since she has had significant presence on the music front, amir jamar and I were anxiously anticipating the next single from her sixth studio effort, Two Eleven, “Put It Down.”
By every measure possible, this track is underwhelming. From its lackluster production by Bangledesh, mediocre lyrics by Sean Garret, and an extremely random feature from Chris Brown, “Put It Down” is simply puzzling. Brandy has never recorded a song so ill-fitting, unexpected, and inadequate to the talent and artistry she has been synonymous with for her nearly 20 year career. With such a disappointing single, her forthcoming album has gotten a weak start.
Just when we thought that Usher‘s new album would be a triumphant return to his roots, it looks like we spoke a bit too soon. The issue with “Scream,” the new single from his upcoming album, is not even its return to the dance-pop route that Ursh experimented with on his last album; it’s just a shitty song. While critics and fans certainly had varying opinions about the sound of his hit “OMG,” no one could deny that it was not only distinctive, but irresistible. This, however, heads in the opposite direction. Boring, predictable and lyrically-juvenile, Usher is clearly chasing another hit to add to his collection.
Since her massive entrance in 2003, the world has witnessed Beyoncé blossom into one of music’s most beloved superstars. While she is commonly praised for her effortless domination of the stage, Queen Bey has proven time and time again that she is more than just a gifted performer; she is one of the leading vocalists of her day.
To kick off the release of their new EP, You Know You Like It, Alunageorge deliver another infectious banger with “Just A Touch.” Returning to the brilliantly catchy, 90s-flavored charm of their sound, the track solidifies that pop music has found it’s newest addiction.
This was totally unexpected, Frank Ocean singing one of my favorite songs in the world. As he took to the stage for the concluding weekend of the Coachella Festival, he performed a stripped down version of the Lauryn Hill classic, “Tell Him”. If ever a time to tread lightly with a cover, it would be this one. As Mrs. Hill’s catalog is as adored as it is signature, other artist can not simply interpret her as they would an artist of lesser meaning. All considered, the singer/songwriter gave a pleasing rendition. On another note I love that he didn’t switch the “him” to “her” making it gender specific, which shows a comfortability that I respect(A simple observation). Instances like this prove why Frank Ocean is winning. Well Done…
Though I am avid music lover of all styles, R&B is what I grew up with. Just when it seemed that the genre was dying out, the emergence of artists like Frank Ocean, The Weeknd, Jhene Aiko and Stacy Barthe saved the day. Next in line of this young, bright and creative movement is Sean Blackthorn, who is already showing major promise with just the few songs that he has unveiled in the past few months.
With its grippingly-minimalistic approach, Sean’s perspective is fueled by his emotional transparency, birthing a sound drenched in dark and haunting enticement. While his other Bandcamp offerings are demonstrative of the potential that I speak of, his newest release, “[One] Night” can surely do all of the talking on it’s own.
Arsenal shows us how it’s done in Belgium with “Melvin,” a smooth, electropop revisitation to the golden days of funk and disco. Shawn Smith‘s guest vocals are a sublime accent to the irrestibly-sleek production, cementing the track as the perfect flashback for all that worship the classic sounds of the 70s.
The duo’s newly-released Melvin EP features the original, plus three official remixes that will satisfy any music lover’s appetite. Get to it.
Dawn Richard contains some heavy artillery, or should I say weapons of mass destruction. Her music is a movement. Through its production, lyrics, and progressive direction, she is advancing the genre of R&B. Ever Since the former Danity Kane/Dirty Money star stepped out all on her own, it’s been hard to not notice her clamoring presence. With a consistent release of material, Dawn has proven her artistry and talent go far beyond the limits some may have set for her.With her most recent release, Armor On, I was initially hesitant after hearing the first single “Bombs” due to my considerably high expectations.
As a long time fan and supporter, I felt her creativity, nerve, performance ability, and voice were worthy of a special sound. Little did I know, such was already there. After a friend recommend that I listen to”Scripture,” my high hopes were certainly met, overly so. By just hearing that track, I was captivated, addicted, and immediately indulged in her EP. As one who appreciates conceptual pieces, Armor On is truly appealing. What she is doing in music is both inspiring and refreshing. There is no way around it, Dawn Richard’s promise as a solo artist is endless.
If you have yet to listen to Armor On, the time is now…
Nine years ago this weekend, Nina Simone died in France. She was an extraordinary pianist, singer, and overall performer. Any note, beat, or rhythm composed by Nina Simone carried a message, through her varied sounds, she became a distinctive voice of an entire era. Her work was gripping with emotion, both high and low. The pensive beauty of “Four Women” is unmatched to this day. No one sounds like her and I don’t think anyone ever will. She was an extremely underrated musician in life and even in death.
Check out a performance of one of her Civil Rights anthems and remember that genius that defines Nina Simone.