Bare-boned and elegantly dark, “The Cypher” unravels with economy and style the turntablist aestheticisms of old-school hip-hop. Four of the UK’s hardest-working indie rappers trade rhyme and verse atop a ringing horn sample, exploring all dimensions of flow. Unapologetically British and defiantly proud of it, Yung Truth, D.A., Hoodzee, and L. Salv exercise a tension noirishly filmic and wickedly grand. Nowhere near a big-budget production, it’s a small-time effort that captures a certain energy brewing in the circles of the UK’s underground hip-hop scenes.
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Seattle by way of Kansas City singer/songwriter Devin Sinha just dropped his newest LP, The Seventh Season. Of the many tunes that exemplify his rock and pop-tinged folk style on the album, “Lone Elm Road” stands out in particular. Sinha filmed a video for the track, which can be viewed below.
Eric and Leigh Gibson, the two men heading up the Gibson Brothers name, are elder statesmen of bluegrass, having been active in the scene since the late ‘80s. When the duo topped PopMatters’ Best Bluegrass of 2011 list, Steve Leftridge wrote, “Eric and Leigh Gibson might have, pound-for-pound, the most impeccably fine-sounding traditional bluegrass band on the contemporary scene.” Not content to rest on their clearly established laurels, the brothers Gibson have taken on the mantle of covering the songs of music’s most legendary brother duos for their forthcoming album Brotherhood. The album features finds the brothers taking on two well known tunes and nine other tracks that have never been available to the public before.
“Bye Bye Love” stands out as particularly apt for Eric and Leigh to cover. You need only stream the track below to see how comfortably this duo slips into the sound of one of folk music’s most legendary duos.
Coming out of the Detroit scene, the Von Bondies were one of the aughts’ premier garage rock groups. PONYSHOW is a mix between its progeny and its reincarnated avatar. Formed in the spring of 2014 in Ferndale, Michigan, the trio is composed of Von Bondies alumni Jason Stollsteimer, Leann Banks, and Donny Blum. The group released its first 7” in October, and now have their debut music video to go along with it, in the form of the kinetic rouser “Folks”.
Australian singer Adria’s vocals on her new single “Pull Me Under” combine the moodiness of Lorde with the echoey, spacey effects that Lana Del Rey has come to be so famous for. These sonic signposts are hardly surprising, given Adria’s bringing on of producers Matthew Wiggins (Adele, Florence and the Machine, Coldplay, and Lorde, among others) and Viktor Balter-Lundin (Lykke Li) in the creation of “Pull Me Under”. However, Adria’s writing of the song came not out of the desire for the next Top 40 hit, but something more elemental. She cites her fascination with water as an inspiration for the track: “I’m attracted to its characteristics: strength, calmness, roughness, fluidity. It can be ruthless, yet it can also be still and quiet, which I like. It can take on so many different personalities which I think can be mirrored with human characteristics.”