April 11 2014
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PHOX- Slow Motion
I do not know of a time at 88Nine where we all believed in a group as much as we all believe in and adore Wisconsin’s own, PHOX. Phox does a thing that many bands have great difficulty doing. They have a lot of instruments and they don’t use them all at the same time. They aren’t fighting for attention. Each instrument has room to breathe and be heard in each song. Along with that, they are matched to the beautiful voice of Monica Martin. We couldn’t be more proud of this Wisconsin band.
Phox’s first official album, PHOX, is going to be released on June 24th, on Partisan Records, but the pre-orders just opened up here, on their website.
Chance the Rapper- “The Writer”
Chance the Rapper is the most important person in music right now. He is progressive. His beats are melodic and groovy. His delivery is not in your face, or trying to put up a front. Recently he moved in with acclaimed electronic producer James Blake because they want to make dope music together. Chance is genuinely having fun. He is enjoying life and he wants you to do the same. He wants you to have fun with him. In this new release The Writer, Chance moves from unencumbered carelessness and reminds us that there is something under the surface. Chance is a great writer too. He says, “Probably as good as Elton John,” and I am inclined to agree.
There is no real info on if this is part of a larger project, release or what. If you know anything, please, please leave a comment. We want more.
Listen if you like: Elton John, SAVEMONEY, Frank Ocean, James Blake, the future of music.
Shannon and the Clams- “Mama”
Shannon and the Clams’ music is often compared to Doo-whop. Like doo-whop Shannon Shaw’s voice carries their songs. Musically it’s highly modulated like a Motown song and the guitar’s effects are those of a 1960’s beach rock song. It does sound like an old song, but more than that, it feels like one. There is a longing in Shannon Shaw’s voice that made me instinctively close my eyes and put my hand over my heart as I listened. That’s why I think of Roy Orbison’s Crying every time I hear her voice. I know what it’s like to feel that heartbreak. I feel that longing. You will too.
Mama will be out as a single in record label Suicide Squeeze’s split singles series.
Listen if you like: Roy Orbison, The Ink Spots, Hunx and his Punx, longing heartbreak in your soul.
The Roots- “When The People Cheer”
“…And Then You Shoot Your Cousin”, the newest studio album from The Roots, comes out in roughly a month. The more their lyricist Black Thought writes, the more introspective and authentic he seems. Their newest single “When The People Cheer” is no different. Many MC’s speak from their own narrative, but what Black Thought does so well here (and what he did so well on Undun) is he puts himself in someone else’s head and breaks down some depraved mindsets that people go through in an environment that isn’t exactly the most renewing in the first place. These verses, along with the hook make this song a very powerful single and makes one wonder if The Roots newest concept album this time around will “make the people cheer” or not.
SZA feat. Isaiah Rashad- “Warm Winds”
R&B/Soul/Electronic artist SZA had just released her label debut album the other day called “Z”. On first listen, a track that most stood out was the Mac Miller produced, “Warm Winds” featuring up and comer Isaiah Rashad. The song starts out with synth sounds that could be a pictoral equivalent to sailing on a wide ocean expanse. Just like the song’s sonic expanse, you also have to delve deeper into the songwriting as there is more in both that can be gained from giving the track more than one listen. As SZA has either a conversation with a more mature, knowledgeable version of herself, or God in the first half, Isaiah Rashad comes into the second half on smooth background vocals as the production changes from Mac Miller to Antydote. If you find this track interesting, be sure to listen to the whole of Z. The rest of the album proves to be just as interesting as “Warm Winds”.