“Afternoon Sun”, the lead track off of Control, the third album by the Brooklyn group Dinosaur Feathers, opens with a percussive sound quite similar to the one that opens the Knife’s “We Share Our Mother’s Health.” From there, things only get progressively kookier, as one might expect from a band called Dinosaur Feathers. From the “All She Wants to Do is Dance” drums of “Zeitgeist” to the faux Motown vibes of “Anything You Want”, Control is a delightful cornucopia of the odd. After all, it’s not often that a group from Brooklyn—a place that seems incapable of not producing new music constantly—comprised of two white guys goes to “look to Janet Jackson for spiritual guidance”. But, then again, Dinosaur Feathers are anything but a normal group.
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“Reel it In”, a tune by the new project of Nikhil P. Yerawadekar called Low Mentality, is a fairly typical summer song. Twangy, clean notes on electric guitar open up the song, and the buoyant mood of the song very clearly resonates with the spirit of the Beach Boys. All of this is curious, then, given the song’s September 30th release, where it is being released as a 7” single (available on digital and vinyl). Summer began its yearly recess for the New York-based Yerawadekar a few weeks ago. However, one look at the goofy video for “Reel it In” will make obvious its all-seasons appeal.
Vocalist Adra Boo and DJ/Producer/MC Action J, who go by the name Fly Moon Royalty as a recording duo, have taken up a reasonably lofty task as far as cover versions go: Sir Mix-a-Lot’s ubiquitous “Baby Got Back.” While Meghan Trainor caused a minor frenzy this summer with her take on the derriere-centric dance number, Fly Moon Royalty has offered up something quite interesting. The duo’s version of “Baby Got Back” takes a different turn than Mix-a-Lot’s vivacious original; with its minimalist arrangements (a beat and some non-intrusive electronics) and Adra Boo’s fierce vocals, the song takes on a slightly dark edge, but one that still highlights the comedic aspects of the lyrics.
“Phoenix”, the latest song by New York City-based songwriter Kat Quinn, is very clearly about a relationship gone wrong. Yet rather than opt for straightforward declarations for her former beloved, Quinn opts for the language of simile, crafting some droll and striking comparisons that both underscore and euphemize the harm done by the relationship. “Your love saved me like a broken raft / And I clung steady like I wanted to sink fast,” she sings in one of the song’s funnier couplets. There are also some dark observations: “Your eyes are cozy like a kitchen knife / And I wish I hadn’t cut myself so many times.” These lyrics form a distinctive take on the breakup song; Quinn’s unique perspective reveals her to be a songwriter with a perceptive pen.
Following PopMatters’ July premiere of New York City singer/songwriter Mackenzie Shivers’ ballad “4th of July”, you can stream her new album, Neverland, in its entirety below. Like “4th of July”, Neverland showcases Shiver’s vocal and piano skills. The gospel flourishes in Shivers’ piano playing heighten the record’s emotional range; this music is ideal to listen to while walking through paths and roads lined with the orange leaves of fall.