Emmanuel Elone: From Iron & Wine to Shabazz Palaces to the Postal Service, Sub Pop really has some excellent musicians from a variety of genres, and Kyle Craft is one of them. “Pentecost” is deceptively simple; at its core, the song is an acoustic guitar rock ballad with some bass and drums buried in the back. However, Craft makes the most of this bare bones yet lush instrumentation by singing with a great inflection in his voice that makes his voice distinct. The lyrics are poetic, the bridge is epic, and Craft’s vocals are stunning. The track ends a bit too softly for my taste, but that’s nothing when literally every other aspect of this tune is near perfect. [8/10]
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Steve Horowitz: Classic space funk mixed with overflowing raps and sex. Kendrick and Ice Cube do fine fresh jobs, but George Clinton is still the king and they know it. “It’s good to be hard / It’s hard to be good” might be a cliché but it still bears repeating—just like remixing old classic sounds to make something futuristic for the party. [7/10]
Soul Inscribed is a super funky New York City band that blends hip-hop and soul with jazzy beats and a bit of dub for good measure. In other words, they bring the funk. Their self-titled album, which released in early February, is a soulful stew of grooves and beats with a positive message that you’ll want to play over and over again. “Dream State” in its original form is a reggae-based, hip-hop tune. In this Dan West premiere we are sharing today, West turns the reggae towards electronic and brings out more of the soulful aspects of the tune, as it adds a myriad of blips and beeps, but keeps the emcee the central figure in the song.
Jared Skinner: Iggy Pop and Josh Homme deliver us a gift that we didn’t even know we wanted, but the combination of these two seems obvious after hearing how incredible they sound together. Dropping the surprising news that they would release an album together, we have been given a taste for what is to come with a few singles in subsequent weeks and “Sunday” is the best one we’ve gotten so far. Homme’s steady, signature riffing casts a brilliant rhythm while Iggy Pop’s classic voice exudes David Bowie in this song, perhaps paying tribute to his late friend. This track is on the longer side but is never boring and features a beautiful instrumental outro. A truly fantastic track, that stands by itself as a tremendous piece of work, it urges us to start the countdown until the full album is released. [9/10]
Chris Ingalls: From what I hear, love songs don’t come easily to Andrew Bird, and this song is not so much a love song but a song about love songs. Fiona Apple is a terrific foil here, and her voice has a wonderful, raspy (yet tuneful) quality. The song itself has a fresh, unique acoustic arrangement. The violin comes it at all the right times – especially during the bridge, when it speeds up and gets all buzzy and distorted. Bird comes off as a bit of a younger Richard Thompson, both in his vocal delivery and in the song’s off-kilter folk arrangement. A beautiful thing. [8/10]
// Notes from the Road
"Although sound issues delayed their set on the second night, Slowdive put on an unforgettable show in Brooklyn, or rather two shows.READ the article