Funk artist Boulevards (Jamil Rashad) recently released his brand new fourteen-track stunner YADIG! We learned quickly that this album is going to be included in our stack of favorites for 2019, hands down. From first track “Lord Knows”, there is a sense of absolute comfort in the landscape of this album, a feeling of warmth within its funk-filled tracks.
As Boulevards bounces from topic to topic with the introduction of each new track, we are taken back in time a bit to a sound that is very reminiscent of the 70s. Funk is what Boulevards has mastered, an unconventional type that finds these tracks perfect for a gallery opening, small backyard barbecue, or a wedding day soundtrack. To find something that versatile and this lush is absolutely unheard of, and we’re floored by the artistry of YADIG!
Check it out below!
Keep up with Boulevards here.
Oliver Ray‘s debut album is an audible kaleidoscope that takes you on a winding and beautiful sonic journey, a facet so many recent releases seem to lack. Beginning with “Ol Coyote”, Out Passed Nowhere brings us track after track of subtly impactful songs, a bit of twang and a whole lot of heart added in.
Ray has a bit of a Bob Dylan flare to his vocals, particular songs like “Setting Sun” bring it out in droves, though it seems to add a level of comfort that heightens the already warm landscape. “Tower and the Star” introduces a sound that is both futuristic and of past times, enhanced by endless reverb. For those reasons and many more, it is our favorite gem off of the release.
But what’s yours? “Queen of Never”? “Wise Blood”? Share with us on Facebook!
Brooklyn-based folk roots musician W.C. Beck recently released 10-track album First Flight. There is a warmth about the work in its entirety , from the first lines of initial track “Steel Bird” can attest to that, though if you listen through “Colosseum” and the slow, gorgeous demeanor of “The Long Way Home”, you just may come to agree with us. “Unknown Bust” speeds things up quite a bit, and could easily be the soundtrack to a sunny-day montage with all of your loved ones, while “A Place to Land” is more vulnerable, both lyrically and sonically.
“Powder Blue” is inspirational and uplifting in its disposition, and while we “turn it around” after listening, “Grey” brings us to a slow, simplified track that is just as melancholic and beautiful as the color itself can be. “(Holding on” To a Coast” has a glittering, summer country soul vibe to it, and it has us salivating over our next BBQ soundtrack. But “Among the Waves” is the true beach day staple, as you can truly imagine walking over the dunes to the waves in slow motion to this gem of a track. Beck rounds it all out with a layered, crawling beaut of a track called “Cathy Jo” that seems to be the most introspective and lovely track of the bunch. By the end, we feel relaxed and admire the adventure Beck was able to carve for us sonically.
01. Steel Bird
03. The Long Way Home
04. Unknown Bust
05. A Place to Land
06. Powder Blue
08. (Holding On) To a Coast
09. Among the Waves
10. Cathy Jo
Keep up with W.C. Beck here.
This weekend, folk rock musician Lauren Crosby released her new full length, I Said Take Me to the Water. From the first chords of “Skylights”, the is very much a soulful vibe to this work. The sass and beauty of Crosby’s personality is palpable through her mellifluous vocals, leading with a slight twang through the 11-track stunner. If you’re looking for the perfect track to sway your hips to at a garden party or while drinking under the stars with your friends, “You Don’t Need a Rose” and “Tak City” fit the bill.
“Something Strange”, “Dead River Road”, and “Madison, Maine” are perfection for playing in the background while you and your closest humans sit around a campfire. Subtle, gorgeous, and simple enough to beautifully complement natural surroundings.
But that’s how we feel about this body of work in its entirety. Crosby has taken an album jam packed with gorgeous, uplifting, and HUMAN lyrics and added her signature twang and some incredible instrumental layering to create a release that is pure warm weather perfection. We’re consistently looking for something to really frame our seasons around, and I Said Take Me to the Water is a prime contender for right now in our lives. Plus, when we go back to the west coast and all of our coastal dwelling friends and family who worship country music are asking for musical suggestions, you best believe this will be at the top of our list. Because Crosby has presented us with just enough of a blend of genres that we can road trip for weeks off this one album.
Don’t test us.
Keep up with Lauren Crosby here.
As you woke this morning and slowly blinked your eyes, I bet you were wondering just as much as we were. “Is it Sunday morning? Wait, is this the weekend that I’m blessed with or the dreaded Monday morning that my Sunday scaries highlight every week?” And here we are, surviving another solidly difficult and also incredibly wonderful Monday!
But if you truly want to celebrate in style, I’d consider checking out Sara Lew‘s new full-length, Sunday Morning. Comprised of nine tracks that pack a punch, she begins bass-heavy with “Does Anybody Listen” (No, they do not), which segues quite nicely into the deep sounds of the title track. “Same Old People” slows it down, beautiful percussion slowly building on top of the electric guitar chords. “Every Moment” has an almost haunting sound to it, while “Leave the Shed” gives more of a slow burn to its sound, and reminds the listener – as if they could forget – of Lew’s deep vocal range.
“Deep End” feels poetic in its existence, drawing a feeling of melancholy with it, while you get the distinct notion that the instrumentals are trying to lift you out of the melancholy. It’s distractingly beautiful, though the same can be said – perhaps, to a different degree – about the album in its entirety. While “The Balcony” is soft and plays a little more with dissonance than its predecessors, “You Said” picks up the pace and is perhaps the track we can see ourselves dancing most wildly to by an outdoor stage this summer, though each track on Sunday Morning is equally vibe-able. The “Sunday Morning” radio edit rounds it out, and leaves a taste so sweet that we can’t wait for more.
Keep up with Sara Lew here.
Today, Houston-bred, Nashville-based artist Luisa Lopez released an incredible 8-track feat titled 45. Her entrancing vocals add a level of poeticism that wouldn’t otherwise be attainable, a fact that simply elevates the appeal of the release. But before we even get to the content of the album, the title itself holds significance in many areas of Lopez’s life. It was both the age at which she began to create the release, as well as the number that represents our current President, a person who fueled some of the work.
Beginning with “Tired”, Lopez plays with dissonance instrumentally and gives us a taste of those far-ranging pipes. “She Had to Go” and “Heaven” bring in a groovy, nineties-inspired feel, while “They Ain’t Gonna See Me Coming: An American Western” picks up the pace, and with “Heart Side”, she ensures you can feel that emotions that went into the song’s production. “China” unfolds into a very specific story and is littered with unique instrumental layering that is absolutely inspired. “Nothing Left” and “Nothing New Under the Sun” slow the pace down quite a bit, bringing forth a vibe that could easily be played at a casual cookout or in a hotel lobby. However, if you truly examine the lyrics, “Nothing Left” is centered around the lives affected by police brutality, especially in black communities. Her social commentary is sobering, yet so beautifully presented.
Above all Lopez admits, “I want people to feel something. I want them to feel inspired. I want them to put themselves in these sounds and I want them to want to hear from me again. I want them to be curious about what will be next.”
2. She Had To Go
4. They Ain’t Gonna See
Me Coming: An American
5. Heart Side
7. Nothing Left
8. Nothing New Under
Keep up with Luisa Lopez here.