Canadian band the Souljazz Orchestra are set to release Resistance, their sixth album of vibrant funk, soul, afrobeat, Latin, and jazz. In keeping with their unique mix of ebullient horns and rhythms and sharp social commentary, new track “Bull’s Eye” is as pointed as the Ottawa band has ever sounded, taking aim at a particularly noteworthy contemporary topic.
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Best known as one half of folk duo Pink & Noseworthy, Los Angeles artist Shanee Pink opts for something more ambitious on her new solo EP Twin Flame, bridging contemporary indie folk with electronic elements and a subtle ‘80s pop influence. Sunny, adventurous, and exuding a warmth that reflects both her locale and her personality—she hosts a monthly “Laurel Canyon Music Revival” at the Kibitz Room in Los Angeles to celebrate the local music heritage and continuing that rich tradition—it’s an irresistible combination. Opening track “Brutal Heart”, with its insistent beat and irresistible hook, is a wonderful example.
Best known as the lead singer/songwriter for Bitter:Sweet, Shana Halligan has ventured out on her own and is set to release a new solo album entitled Back to Me this fall. “Been Waiting” is the first single from the record, a sumptuous blend of melodramatic piano balladry and a gently pulsating electronic rhythm that gradually escalates into a swanky little house beat. What starts off as forlornly sad becomes almost celebratory in its misery, as if she’s dancing the pain away.
Ubiquitous in the UK, a classic rock curiosity on North America, it’s high time Slade was given a proper critical reevaluation on this continent. Until that happens, though, the glam rockers remain something for young people to discover. And who knows, maybe someone who hears this terrific new track by A Fragile Tomorrow, written in tribute to Slade and their singer Noddy Holder, in addition to enjoying the South Carolina band’s boisterous powerpop will be compelled to delve into Slade’s wonderful discography.
Birmingham, Alabama singer-songwriter Jesse Payne returns with his newest album Heirloom this week, and his laid-back, rustic, contemplative take on indie, roots, and folk is sure to interest fans of indie and Americana alike. Three years in the making, it’s been a torturous haul, but its sumptuous arrangements - a testament to Payne’s many collaborators - make this record well worth the long wait.