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Sound Check's Blog – January 2017 Archive (55)

PREMIERE: Trip hop duo Magna Carda floats effortlessly with Blood Orange singer Ava Raiin on ethereal single “I’m Alive”

Imagine a floating through a chamber of sweet smoke, mellow lighting, and cloudy eyes. Now imagine being suspended in that room by velvet wings and hearing potent poetry by a gritty, yet silken voiced songstress. Well open your eyes and press play on trip hop duo Magna Carda’s newest single with Blood Orange singer Ava Raiin, “I’m Alive.” The ethereal soundscape crafted by Dougie Do creates fertile ground for the raspiness of Megz Kelli’s voice to inject some texture, while… Continue

Added by Sound Check on January 31, 2017 at 1:00pm — No Comments

VIDEO PREMIERE: Seattle rocker Ayron Jones is urging us to be positive in new video for “Love Is The Answer”

Seattle’s Ayron Jones has something to say but it wasn’t always as clear or plain as “Love Is The Answer,” the lead single off his forthcoming project ‘Audio Pant Job.’ Thinking back on it, Jones says, "When my first album dropped it was literally trial by fire. I had gone from playing solo in the corner of some Seattle dive bar, to opening for B.B. King in a matter 4 months. All of a sudden I had a name and a voice and nothing to say. However, over time as I settled… Continue

Added by Sound Check on January 31, 2017 at 11:00am — No Comments

My run-in with the police helped me find my purpose as an artist of color

Last summer the police arrested me. Well, at least they went through the motions. They put me in a room with three police officers, they catalogued my tatoos, they took mugshots, they swabbed my DNA. They refused me a lawyer; they threatened me with the potential of a criminal record. All of this happened without my permission, yet I was compliant (albeit hysterical), and when I stated I do not know my rights, the police officer swiftly replied, “All you need to know is…


Added by Sound Check on January 30, 2017 at 11:00am — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Bloom's 'SINSES EP' Is An Otherworldly Ode To Longing #SoundCheck

There's something otherworldly about Bloom's SINSES EP. Sounding something like a transmission of Grace Jones reflected back off the moons of Jupiter, her ethereal voice jumps from a contralto moan to starry heights in the span of a single word. Songs like “XCHXO!” and “Raindrops” glimmer with stardust and longing, while Dylan Brady' production drapes everything in a veil of reverb and beats just out of earshot. Bloom is a master of the slow build, with album highlight…


Added by Sound Check on January 27, 2017 at 2:18pm — No Comments

AFROPUNK alum Thundercat announces new album and world tour with single featuring Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins

Have you ever heard a song that you didn’t know you needed til the sound waves hit your ears? That’s what Thundercat is for me. His entire catalogue is full of songs that wouldn’t sound quite right played or performed by anyone else and his particular combination of jazz, funk, soul, and hip hop is the perfect culmination of years of perfecting his craft and an aesthetic informed by the soul titans before him. And what better way to announce that his new album ‘Drunk’ and…


Added by Sound Check on January 26, 2017 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Bad Brains will work on new music this year

Earlier this week, ‘Finding Joseph, I’, a documentary about HR of Bad Brains screened at Saint Vitus bar in Brooklyn. While the screening itself was a success and the subsequent interview with HR provided insights that otherwise would be lost in translation, a revelation about the future of Bad Brains was divulged and with it came an immense amount of excitement. HR announced that Bad Brains would be reuniting in the studio and working on new music for 2017. This is amazing… Continue

Added by Sound Check on January 26, 2017 at 10:30am — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Scottish Indie Hip Hop Trio Young Fathers Return With The Massive “Only God Knows” #SoundCheck

Since their first tapes back in 2013, Young Fathers have had a unique ability to craft massive songs out of small pieces. Their latest, “Only God Knows,” from the Trainspotting 2 soundtrack, ups the ante with the voices of the Leith Congregational Choir. The song explodes into a burst of joyful chaos, while the vocals spin out despair and confusion. The band describes the song as “like being shot out of a cannon into the greatest atheist church in the universe, like dying…


Added by Sound Check on January 25, 2017 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Mombasa-born German hip hop soul artist Leila Akinyi brings the bounce and bars to her jams

If you don’t believe hip hop is an international movement, look no further than Leila Akinyi, the German sharpshooter bringing soulful vibes and is bodying tracks. The Mombasa-born, Cologne raised singer-songwriter is a study in nostalgic vibrations with a modern approach. Beyond the fact that her music bangs and the flow is impeccable, she also creates amazing imagery in her music videos. Visuals are a long lost art in music at present, with many opting to simply rap or…


Added by Sound Check on January 25, 2017 at 11:11am — No Comments

NYC retro soul singer K Sloan is bringing the Motown sound on her new swaying single “Stay”

Motown’s distinctive brand of soul is one of a kind and K Sloan, the NYC-based retro soul singer is tapping into that wavelength effortlessly on her new single "Stay." The simple bassline provides the perfect backdrop for shimmering strings and a melody reminiscent of “Stay” by Ben E. King, an interpolation on the classic with a very different message. K Sloan says, “‘Stay’ is a song for the woman who's had enough. It's a song for all the women that are deeply hurting. It's…


Added by Sound Check on January 25, 2017 at 10:30am — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Neo-Soul Act Nicotine's Famous Honey Transforms Heartbreak Into a Powerful Declaration of Self-Love On 'An Open Letter' #SoundCheck

It's the rare breakup album that has the strength not to wallow. On Nicotine's Famous Honey's An Open Letter, the singer songwriter transforms her pain into power. The opening poem in “The Introduction” sets the stage: “but it's over now and you're missing me / and I'm in love unconditionally / which surprises me / because I thought you fucked it up for everybody / but in reality / you just brought me to the one that I'm supposed to be with / so thank you for the experience…


Added by Sound Check on January 24, 2017 at 5:55pm — 2 Comments

PREMIERE: LA singer Locke dazzles on his funky alt-pop single “Rendezvous” ft. Kaleena Zanders

LA is for the dreamers and Locke is dreaming big! This Houston native is bringing the funk on this alternative pop track. Locke says, “When I wrote Rendezvous I wanted to speak to the sacred space between lovers. I loved the idea of writing a song with lyrics detailing a ‘salacious rendezvous’ juxtaposed with elements of the sound of a gospel choir (a nod to my Southern Baptist upbringing). [...] In a world where people are often sexually repressed and oppressed by… Continue

Added by Sound Check on January 24, 2017 at 1:00pm — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: San Antonio Blues / Soul Band Lonely Horse Stands Defiant On Their New Single 'Devil in the White House' #SoundCheck

Since November, there's been a new meme every week insisting that we can stop Trump's presidency with this One Weird Trick, but here we are. As AFROPUNK BOTB Winner 2014 Lonely Horse sings on their triumphant new single: there's a “Devil in the White House.” 3 days in, and the administration is wasting no time rolling back as many progressive victories of the past century as they can get their hands on. There's no untested forgotten Constitutional trick that will undo it,…


Added by Sound Check on January 23, 2017 at 5:10pm — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Electronica duo Technoir is back with the third installment of their EP series and it’s too dope for words!

Electronica duo Technoir is all vibes in the latest installment in their EP series. New Ecosystem Musically Improved Vol.3 is a downtempo groove with moments of excitement and energy, but overall it’s perfect for when you want a soundtrack to accompany a cup of tea, a home date or a scenic drive. For electronica artists, it’s imperative to not get bogged down in trends or fads, and Technoir consistently rises above and pushes the envelope by staying ture to the groove.…


Added by Sound Check on January 19, 2017 at 3:10pm — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Rocker Colleen Lovejoy collabs with Thundercat on Tamir Rice tribute

Resistance in songform has been apart of Black culture since slaves sang spirituals to get through legal torture. Rock singer Colleen Lovejoy joins the legacy of artists pushing back against police brutality, racism, and hatred in new collaboration with Thundercat on a song called “With Guns.” From its description, the song was ”Written after a young man was shot and killed across the street from my house. The next day there was no news of it. I called the police department… Continue

Added by Sound Check on January 19, 2017 at 2:16pm — No Comments

Teen heavy metal band Unlocking The Truth’s documentary “Breaking A Monster,” is now on Netflix!

Unlocking the Truth, the teenage sensations who were discovered playing heavy metal in Times Square and went viral on social media were followed for over a year afterwards, documenting their progress, struggles, and growth in documentary “Breaking A Monster.” Guitarist Malcolm Brickhouse, bassist Alec Atkins and drummer Jarad Dawkins began playing when they were in grade school and the trio was signed to Sony Entertainment soon after their videos went viral. After being… Continue

Added by Sound Check on January 19, 2017 at 1:37pm — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Willow Smith shares intimate cover of “The Book of Right On” by Joanna Newsom

The youngest people in the music industry often catch unnecessary flack about their naivete, ignorance, or the direction their careers go, when much of their artistic direction is guided by the adults in their midst. For Willow Smith, most people still distinctly remember her for “Whip My Hair,” a shrill pop anthem with little depth and even less musicality, but since that time Willow has been evolving into quite a vocalist and songwriter. Because she releases music…


Added by Sound Check on January 19, 2017 at 10:49am — 1 Comment

Woo! D'Angelo has a new album "on the way"

It took fourteen years for D’Angelo to come back to music and once he did Black Messiah took our breath away. It seems that neo soul’s prodigal son has been working hard so that we never have to feel his absence again. Kevin Liles management company, the home of our favorite crooner, hinted that such an earth-shattering event may be on the horizon via Instagram, although the post has since been deleted. "Ready for another D'Angelo album? Might be coming sooner than you think!… Continue

Added by Sound Check on January 19, 2017 at 10:00am — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Indie Soul Singer NoMBe's new single is like a hot cup of coffee on a lazy morning

With hushed vocals, slinky guitar, hazy synths, dancy beats, retro soul stabs, and even a damn 303, NoMBe's debut single “Wait” has a little bit of everything. The song is like a hot cup of coffee on a lazy morning. Rich and smooth but with a little something to pick you up. NoMBe's debut record comes out later this year, and if the single's any indication, it'll be one to watch out for. “Let's make it last forever,” NoMBe sings. Please do.…


Added by Sound Check on January 18, 2017 at 4:41pm — No Comments

UK soul artist Omar invokes dancehall vibes in new swaying single “I Want It To Be”

Caribbean influence in popular music has been surging since early in 2016 and it looks like those vibes are taking 2017 by storm as well. From Rihanna’s “Work” to Drake’s “Controlla,” dancehall took its rightful place in hip hop and pop to create some of the biggest songs of the year. UK soul artist Omar infused his latest single “I Want It To Be” with a slightly more mellow influence from the West Indies, but the song is no less stunning than the rest. It reminds me of…


Added by Sound Check on January 18, 2017 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Chance The Rapper and Anderson .Paak are cooking up something in the studio

Collaboration is a major key, just ask DJ Khaled. And what’s lovely about 2017 is the collaborations we have to look forward to from our favorite hip hop artists. It’s hard to say who had a bigger year between Chance the Rapper and Anderson .Paak, but both of them broke new ground and did it bigger than anyone could’ve guessed. And wouldn’t you know it-- they’re in the studio together and previewed the new track via Snapchat for their fans to get hype. The only thing more…


Added by Sound Check on January 18, 2017 at 10:32am — No Comments

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