Is this London / Brighton trio’s collective name meant to evoke a fictional character? Is it a sentence fragment ominously failing to resolve who or what it is this Johnny figure is slaying? That the members—Tim, Cameron, and Lewis—all take “Kills” as a surname a la the Ramones further muddies the water and deepens the intrigue.
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San Fernando Valley’s Soul Scratch are a smoking hot soul band with superlative musicianship and one hell of a lead singer in Dale Spollett. Spollett possesses one of those force of nature soul voices that can’t be taught; one has to be born with it. Like Paul Janeway from St. Paul and the Broken Bones and Mike Farris, Spollett is a blue-eyed soul singer that can tear the house down in live performance. Even more impressive is how his voice bristles with energy and conviction on studio recordings. The band itself equals the vocal excellence of Spollett, with its right-on-the-money crackling grooves in every song. Soul Scratch is one of those groups that you know you love within a few seconds of hearing one of their songs.
UK soul singer extraordinaire Hannah Williams has formed a tight new band with the Affirmations and they make the kind of incendiary, stomp-your-feet and clap-your-hands soul music that lit up the ‘60s and ‘70s. Pairing with Bristol’s the Affirmations has given Williams a super fine level of musicianship to pair with her burn-down-the-house vocals. Hannah Williams and the Affirmations’ new album, Late Nights & Heartbreak, released back on 18 November. Today we’re premiering a fresh single for you, the Northern soul number “Tame in the Water”, which begins with beautifully phrased gentle vocals and rises into an emotional, soul stomper where Williams really belts it out holding nothing back.
Kevin Russell spent much of his musical career with the Gourds, an Austin-based Americana band that was highly influential in the development of alt-country and the growing Americana scene. During his lengthy tenure leading that group, Russell would occasionally step out for solo gigs in Houston as Shinyribs, and he released a couple of records under that moniker. Now that the Gourds are on hiatus, Russell is doubling down on his Shinyribs project. He assembled a full band this year and they have a new record coming down the pike with I Got Your Medicine scheduled for 24 February 2017.
Electropop master Schiller recently released his ninth album, Future, to critical acclaim in his native Germany and it soared to number one on the charts there. Now Future is coming out in the U.S. on December 16th. Schiller describes the new record as being cinematic in scope and indeed it features walls of glistening big sound that is highly atmospheric in nature. Working on the album in Los Angeles and the Mojave Desert, aided Schiller in creating songs that both rise high and maximalist like the great urban centers of our cities, while quieting down to introspective moments. The contrasts are gorgeous and make Future both compelling dance music and scintillating headphone dreamscapes.