Stax Records and Sun Records stand as two of the most culturally significant record labels in popular music history, and they are both Memphis labels. There’s obviously something special in the Mississippi River, as so much of American popular music stems from close to either side of those waters. Stax was the home of Southern soul, sporting a roster that is a who’s who of important soul artists: Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, Carla Thomas, Eddie Floyd and more. Sam Phillips’ Sun Records, on the other hand, was the home of early rock ‘n’ roll with Elvis Presley, Ray Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins. Sun also had an enormous influence in the country music world, launching the career of Johnny Cash.
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Los Angeles’ Tenelle mixes reggae, soul, and tropical sounds in her upbeat, sunny music and her latest video “Set Me Free” proves what an alluring sound that is. Setting the video in the warm beach climes of Hawaii, Tenelle’s song lures one to want to play and love, not toil and work. It marks the promise of the coming summer and better days to come, plus it’s a wonderful love song. “The song tells a story about a girl in love for the first time and the reality of being locked by the love she is ‘...wishing on every star’ to be hers,” Tenelle says.
Indie folk poppers Magic Giant have been active on the festival scene and have toured with Beats Antique and the Revivalists, and now they are set to release their infectious debut album, In the Wind, this Friday, May 19th. The band blends folk and pop in equal doses, creating killer harmonies, intriguing instrumental accompaniment, literally using any instrument they happen to find, including drums, banjo, trumpet, saxophone, harmonica, synthesizers, electric bass, cello, viola, violin, dobro, lap steel, mandolin, and more. Their sound is huge and features melodies that soar to majestic heights, and the way the album was created has a lot to do with that.
Swedish trio Ball releases its debut album Friday, May 19 via the Horny imprint and we have a premiere of the entire record for you now. Having issued the acclaimed 7” Fyre in 2015, Ball quickly focused its energies on writing one of the dirtiest, nastiest efforts to climb from the rock’s scuz coated underbelly. Early metal and psychedelic sounds from the 1970s are tightly woven into the throbbing nucleotides of Ball’s DNA, but the mysterious trio dives deeper into the darkness, exploring the lure of the occult, the hallucinatory properties of high volumes and, per the outfit’s moniker, hedonistic sexuality.
Megan Talay is a regular in the New York music scene, playing in the Guns N’ Roses cover band Guns N’ Hoses, sitting in as a session musician and fronting her own band. In 2015, Talay released her first EP, Piece by Piece, a rootsy rock set of five tracks. In June, she’s set to release her follow-up, Talay with five new tracks. But this time the young singer-songwriter has leaned hard on a pop-rock sound.
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