Paul Carr: The first release since Nabuma Rubberband sees the band kick back with a deceptively simple ode to the pleasures of getting stoned. It’s a suitably woozy atmospheric track featuring crisp, undulating synths and lolling, drowsy beats. It’s a very polished sound with unhurried, whispering vocals that give the song a certain ‘80s vibe. The whole thing is allowed to drift and swirl, like clouds of smoke as they drift into the night sky. [7/10]
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Paul Carr: The collaboration between experimental hip-hop producer, Knxwledge and alternative R&B’s shining light, Anderson Paak, reaches its peak on this ultra smooth, neo-soul hit. Knxledge sprinkles his deep, soulful beats with just enough funk to keep the toes tapping and the head bobbing. Meanwhile, Paak finds the perfect sweet spot between his crisp, fresh verses and his soulful croon to create a super-slinky, late night tune. [8/10]
Pop artist Stolar finds the worldly confines of the Big Apple to be the perfect setting for composing his music with its endless sources of inspiration. Stolar’s sound is utterly warm and contemporary, based in pop, but further refined by his soul and electronic leanings. Soulful electropop, if you will. His latest song, “Paralyzed”, tackles the feeling of being mentally and physically blocked when confronted with the “paralyzing” effects of daily stress, fear, and unease. Like so many fine songwriters before him, Stolar finds his ultimate comfort in music, a place where he can confront his demons directly and honestly and maybe we can too.
British blue-eyed soul band Stone Foundation play straight up, feel-good, classic soul that can heal our wounded hearts in this ever more cruel world. The group’s new album produced by Modfather Paul Weller is Street Rituals and will be released 31st March via 100% Records. Weller also plays on all of the tracks, which makes sense as Stone Foundation‘s sound is very much within Weller’s wheelhouse.
Paul Carr: Animal Collective follow up last year’s Painting With album with more of the same on new EP The Painters. Like much of their best work, “Kinda Bonkers” is bursting with ideas. Built on tabla percussion, see-saw keyboards and parallel vocals that bounce, ping and collide, the band throw everything they can in to see what cooks. All of these different ingredients are whipped up into a customary, trippy, psychedelic sponge. The whole thing is as irrepressible and energetic as you would expect, but it somehow feels more rounded. More straightforward and undemanding, never feeling like it might collapse under the weight of the hooks and melodies the band has crammed on every tier. [8/10]