Hailing from Stockport, England but now based in London, singer/songwriter/guitarist JJ Rosa brings a very unique perspective to funk/dance pop on her debut EP Tonight, which will be released on 5 December. With nimble vocals inspired by Michael Jackson, a nasty funk groove reminiscent of Chic and Chaka Khan, and guitar work that evokes Nile Rodgers, the raucous title track is a huge statement by this talented young woman, who’s already garnered high praise from the likes of Christine McVie and Rowetta.
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Parlor Walls is a “trash jazz” trio comprising of Alyse Lamb of post-punk outfit EULA, avant—saxophonist Kate Mohanty, and multi-instrumentalist Chris Mulligan, Lamb’s partner in the multi-media art collective Famous Swords. We were fortunate enough to have Parlor Walls open our CMJ showcase with a totally transformational performance. The dexterity of each member, from Mulligan’s multi-tasking drumming and keyboard tapping to Mohanty’s beautifully interwoven sax playing, as well as Lamb’s full throttle command of the stage, made for as memorable a CMJ performance as any given by better known acts on the festival’s roster.
Although she’s too young to remember when alternative rock came into its own in the early 1990s, 21 year-old singer songwriter Hope Vista absolutely nails that sound on her new EP Prevail, which comes out tomorrow. With its hard-edged sound and emphasis on pop hooks (which is often reminiscent of the Matrix in their prime) it’s ironic that a sound so rooted in the past can sound like a breath of fresh air in 2015.
Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche are back with a new album, Songs in the Dark, which comes out on 13 November. Featuring songs made famous by Woody Guthrie, Jimmy Rodgers, and their father Loudon Wainwright, the record looks back at tunes that shaped the sisters’ childhoods. One of those songs, the gorgeous and dryly humorous “Lullaby”, can be heard below.