Eva Salina grew up immersed within the Balkan music community that highly revered the work of Serbian singer Šaban Bajramović, whose work in the 1960s and 1970s made him a star among Yugoslavians, the Romani and the diaspora of both groups. Salina studied Balkan singing from a young age and first traveled to the Balkans at the tender age of 12 to study the culture. Performing steadily around New York, Salina got the idea to record a tribute to the legendary Bajramović, but filtered through her own NYC jazz and worldbeat influences. Salina also secured the involvement of noted area bands such as Slavic Soul Party!, Kultur Shock, and the Klezmatics to help work on the tribute. “I Barval Pudela” is the first single from LEMA LEMA, which releases today. It’s a gorgeous tune that highlights the complex singing style employed in Balkan music and shows off Salina’s stunning voice.
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Austin singer-songwriter duo Penny and Sparrow move from delicate folk to rough-edged Americana on their new album, Let a Lover Drown You. Vocalist Andy Baxter and composer Kyle Jahnke met while roommates at the University of Texas at Austin. The intensity that comes with living together contributes to the closeness and tightness of their harmonies, which have been compared on occasion to Simon and Garfunkel. “Makeshift” highlights these talents brilliantly and leans toward the folk end of Penny and Sparrow’s musical spectrum.
Janiva Magness has built a career on the intersections of genres, seamlessly blending blues, Americana, country, pop, and most importantly soul into her own unique sound. After years on highly respected Chicago blues label, Alligator Records, Magness stepped out on her own with 2014’s Original releasing via her own label Fathead Records. For her latest, Love Wins Again releasing in April, Magness partners with Blue Élan Records, a pairing that is allowing her to increase her presence on the exploding Americana scene. “Love Wins Again” is her latest single and it’s a deeply soulful number that makes one want to dance the groove.
Atlanta producer Chris Hunt previously applied his compositional skills to the work of Cloudeater, but following the break-up of that outfit, Hunt has struck out on his own in developing the Tomb project. Juxtaposing wide cinematic flourishes with elements of jaggy noise that almost create a heavy metal effect, his new music is throughly visceral in some of the same ways as Rabit’s recent music on Communion.