Archive for category Soul

New Music Preview: Michael Kiwanuka | y/y | Snowmine | Justin Robinson & The Mary Annettes

Here is some more awesome new music…

Michael Kiwanuka has two EPs out in 2011, and has been compared to Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and Otis Redding

I’m Getting Ready by MichaelKiwanuka


The Brooklyn based y/y reminds me of Fourtet mixed with Animal Collective.

PlayPlay by yyband


Check out Snowmine on Shaking Through with free mp3 download.

Snowmine – Curfews by wvmusic


The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ founder, Justin Robinson is starting a new project called Justin Robinson & The Mary Annettes.




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Anna Rose: “My Body Is A Cage” (Arcade Fire Cover)


Anna Rose has some gumption.  The Manhattan songstress has taken the organ breeding closer to Arcade Fire’s 2007 Neon Bible, and stripped it down for the copper piping: i.e. the lyrics.  Her new version for “My Body Is A Cage” is a sordid ballad that focuses more on the “cagey” and less on the “set my body free-eee” part.  Her voice is distinctive and she’s got the atmosphere and charisma to house plenty of fans.  Shame it took such a damp cover to get our attention though.  The rest of her catalogue is much, much easier on your mood.  Still, if you’re already in the dumps, this song will do nothing to dissuade you from staying there.

My Body Is a Cage by Anna Rose Music

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Smoke Signals: “Black Holes”

Smoke Signals are a soulful trio from Shelton, Connecticut. They recorded their self-titled LP with Christian Latts, the lead guitarist for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and you can sort of get the same folksy blues vibe from “Black Holes,” their piano-driven first single. Watch the video for the song, which is footage of the band recording the track in a lovely home studio, and you get an idea of why the song feels alive. The pounding and plinking of piano keys, the wine and bend of strings from some bluegrassy guitar, that realistic thud of people stomping for percussion — it all adds to the super-cool flavor of this track.

Coley O’Toole, Joe Ballaro and Zac Clark make up Smoke Signals, and on “Black Holes” they got some help from Rocco Deluca. Their self-titled album is available now on Bandcamp as a name-your-price download. Grab “Black Holes” below.

Smoke Signals – Black Holes (featuring Rocco DeLuca) by The Wounded Jukebox

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PAPA: “Ain’t It So”

Last week, we featured a track by Los Angeles-based band PAPA in an end of summer mix. Turns out, these guys are built for all seasons. The band, which is the project of Girls drummer Darren Weiss and his childhood friend, bassist Danny Presant, has a dynamite EP coming out October 4th on Hit City U.S.A. and Psychadelic Judaism. Weiss is pulling double duty right now, as PAPA is the opening act for Girls on their current tour across the U.S.

The music here is vibrant and electric, and it carries the same nostalgic vibe as bands like Dr. Dog, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes or perhaps even The Black Keys. Its guitars, its keyboards, its drums, its vocals — they’ve all got major soul, and it’s fun to absorb the energy as it ebbs and flows throughout “Ain’t It So.” Weiss’ vibrato quivers in just the right way and is powerful in all the right spots.

My favorite part of “Ain’t It So” comes in its second half: the rumble of a subtle electric riff and a military-like drumroll, and then a galloping keyboard piece layers over top and Weiss croons a stretched out “Hey you, come on. Let’s talk about it,” and then things get all hectic and noisy and fun for just a few seconds, and we get the toe-tapping keys-and-licks finale with soulful “Whoahhh Ohhhh Ohhhhhhh” backing vocals. I’ve listened to this song so many times today it’s sick. In a gorged-on-too-many-delicious-pastries kind of way.

Go on, be a glutton with me. Repeat it till you can’t get it out of your head. Totally worth it. Download’s below.

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White Denim: “Hot Thought”

If I ever wanted to describe a track as “groovy,” it’s this new song from Austin, Texas dudes White Denim.  “Hot Thought” has some delightful little touches — the quiver of vocoder, some awesome keyboard and bass lines, and chilled-out guitar licks — that make the song a lot of fun. These guys have shown a neat ability to dabble in a handful of different genres, and just finished up a European tour. They’ll be on the road this Fall in the US with Manchester Orchestra, and their new EP Takes Place In Your Work Space is out October 25 on Downtown Records.

Download “Hot Thought” below, and also check out the remix of White Denim’s song “Drug” by Bjorn (Of Peter, Bjorn and John)!

Hot Thought by WhiteDenim 

White Denim – Drug (Bjorn Remix) by Pretty Much Amazing

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White Arrows: “Get Gone”

I can only imagine how much fun it is to hear this new White Arrows track live. With its groovy lo-fi synthy backbeat, twinkling keyboards, lovely guitar licks and handclaps-a-go-go , it is built to make people dance out their troubles. The L.A. quintet recently wrapped up a stint with Those Darlins, has toured with Cults, White Denim and Portugal The Man, and will get to unleash its irresistible brand of electro-pop on some new audiences this October, when they begin a jaunt with New Zealanders The Naked and Famous.

At the heart of White Arrows are two brothers, Mickey and Henry Church. Mickey was legally blind until the age of 11, when he miraculously regained his sight. He studied ritualistic shamanism at New York University, then came home and began White Arrows with brother Henry. Also in that original mix was J.P. Caballero, who the brothers Schiff found out was in fact a brother-from-another-mother, quite literally. The Churches’ father donated sperm to help friends conceive years ago, and Caballero was that child. That’s a pretty unbelievable backstory if I’ve ever heard one. Awesome.

White Arrows’ self-titled debut EP is available now stateside, and “Get Gone” — which is the definition of accessible indie-pop — was produced by remix extraordinaire RAC. So if you don’t judge the group by its infectious sound, feel free to do so by the respectable company they keep. This song is on my list for favorites from 2011’s second half. Enjoy!

UPDATE: White Arrows’ 7-inch is now available from Ooh La La Recordings. Grab it HERE!

White Arrows – Get Gone by WHITEARROWS 

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Fly Moon Royalty: Fly Moon Royalty

It seems that these days I am the Seattle music correspondent for TWJ, but it’s so hard to pass up on all this new music, just like Fly Moon Royalty. Think about a little Lauryn Hill, mix it with some electronic production from Four Tet, and out comes self- proclaimed electrosoul. The group consists of Adraboo and MC/producer/DJ Action Jackson. They also have a ton of free downloads on their bandcamp.

Higher – Fly Moon Royalty by ActionJ

Lemonade – Fly Moon Royalty by ActionJ

In the Woods – Fly Moon Royalty by ActionJ

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