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.
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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.
Shred the Master Design is the brand-new release from Playing to Vapors. The Columbus, Ohio’s unique brand of shoegaze-cum-prog rock is on full display across this new effort. “The Perfect Weapon in Human Form” takes a page from the rock and world influences heard in peak era Talking Heads with particularly deft work from guitarists Mike Stokes and Daron Mackenzie while the brawny rhythm section of Zackary Cramp (bass) and Josiah DePaso (drums) gives us a glimpse of its powerful breadth.
Drawing from an abundance of diverse influences—including the Decemberists, Chvrches, Death Cab for Cutie, Saves the Day, Nirvana, Eisley, and Deftones—experimental indie rock trio Sonnder (vocalist Ryan Wiedman, keyboardist Kat Stein, and drummer Mike Liszka) is easily one of the most popular and idiosyncratic bands in Philadelphia. It’s not difficult to hear why, either, as their blend of dreamy instrumentation, honest lyricism, and pleasant vocals yield a sound comparable another local darling, Circa Survive (albeit with less punk frenzy and more 1960s pop lavishness). Their newest video, “Along the Way (I’ve Been Alive)”, captures that vibe perfectly, offering a sweetly humble visual to complement its titular sentiment.