Spaceplan begins with a few well-worn sci-fi mysteries. You wake up on a spaceship orbiting an unknown planet, the electronics are down, you don’t know who you are, and you don’t know when it is. It’s a mashup of several types of sci-fi openings.
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Adriane Pontecorvo: A cut from back in 2013, reflective Childish Gambino track “Centipede” still holds up, and this new video is a perfect match for it. Clips of the rapper at his most unguarded—behind the scenes, talking candidly about his work, constantly pensive—highlight lyrics about dreams and struggles. Gambino has a perfect rhythm, his flow strong and fast against soulful keys and persistent beats. A refreshing track with great staying power. [8/10]
Jazz singer and composer Meklit Hadero, known by the mononym Meklit, has long been bringing her Ethiopian heritage to the forefront of the jazz she sings. Now, on upcoming album When the People Move, the Music Moves Too, exclusively streaming on PopMatters one week before its June 23 release, the blend is more seamless than ever with deeply personal compositions and appearances by Andrew Bird, the Preservation Hall Horns, and a literal star.
Sweden’s Ye Banished Privateers return with First Night Back in Port on June 30 via Napalm Records. The new LP features the outfit’s unique amalgam of Scandinavian and Irish folk, tastes of bloodied punk energy and a knowledge of sea chanties as well. Other acts walk a similar path of course, but there’s often something forced, an element of put-on about it. Ye Banished Privateers is neither attempting to capture the glory of an era through which none of its members lived nor hitching itself to a niche trend.
Los Angeles’ the Dustbowl Revival has been around for ten years delighting audiences with their upbeat American roots music, and now the group has a new album on tap that sees them expanding their sound into new areas. Previous recordings have seen the ensemble explore New Orleans jazz and old-time folk, but their latest self-titled album releasing June 16th on Signature Sounds sees the Dustbowl Revival adding a serious dose of soul and funk to their wide-ranging music. Bright Stax-style horns now punctuate the songs’ rhythms and add an element that’s likely to bring show audiences to their feet.