Heavy Rotation: The Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing
Posted on June 13, 2017
Once a month, NPR Music checks in with hosts and music curators from public radio stations across the country to find out which new songs they just can't let go. The depth and variety of their selections is always a joy to behold, and this month's list is no exception. Whether your pleasure is new-wave chamber pop, hypnotic trance-blues or Ethio-jazz that's literally made of star stuff, public radio has you covered.
Deb Talan, 'Bring Water'
from Lucky Girl
After over a decade of success with the folk-rock group The Weepies
, Deb Talan discovered that being in a band, having three kids and surviving stage 3 breast cancer had caused her to lose pieces of her identity. In order to gain it back, the songwriter began working on Lucky Girl
. It's her first solo project in 13 years — with an emphasis on "solo," as she plays every instrument on the record. The opening track, "Bring Water," sets the stage for Talan as she digs back into difficult memories she hasn't visited in a long time. Driving percussion throughout the song creates a marching-like quality as she describes how revisiting her past is arduous enough to set her heart on fire: "Bring water / Something's on fire / Bring water / That must be my heart." Through Talan's fine songcraft,"Bring Water" and the rest of the songs on Lucky Girl
prove that in order to regain and heal yourself, looking back and processing your past — although it can be painful — leads to the ultimate reward of a happy and full life.
, Folk Alley
Bill Frisell & Thomas Morgan, 'Subconscious-Lee'
from Small Town
, the soft-spoken and ingenious jazz guitarist, has a history of deep connection with musical partners. But his rapport with bassist Thomas Morgan — as heard on their exquisite new album, Small Town
— amounts to something extremely special. Hear what they do together on "Subconscious-Lee," an old Lee Konitz tune based on Cole Porter
's harmonic progression in "What Is This Thing Called Love?" Swinging at a medium-brisk clip, they pounce on each other's lines like a veteran comedy team, often blurring the line between lead and accompaniment. The track, like the rest of the album, was recorded at the Village Vanguard just a few months ago, and as the best albums made in that club do, it puts you right in the room.
Denzel Curry And BADBADNOTGOOD’s “Ultimate” Video Is A Kaleidoscopic Studio Jam Session
Posted on June 07, 2017
WATCH: https://youtu.be/Y1nHcz5BJXgDenzel Curry
recently recruited BADBADNOTGOOD
and went back to his 2016 album Imperial
to rework two tracks
with the multi-skilled group. This led to a new version of his song "Ultimate" that combines the lyrical intensity of the original with looser, jazzy instrumentation. Today the official video for the team-up is premiering on The FADER. It perfectly visualizes the sounds of the song, taking a relaxed jam and turning it on its head with psychedelic special effects.
Speaking to The FADER via email, Curry explained his reasons for wanting to revisit his music in this way. "I've wanted to experiment with performing my music with a live band for a while now," he said. "I first heard of BADBADNOTGOOD from this live session they did with Tyler
[The Creator] a few years ago, We got a chance to link up in the studio while they were out in L.A. and the rest was history.
"This means a lot to me because I get to hear my music re-imagined through live instruments and it's a bonus for my fans who are into other genres. It was a challenge trying to nail that same energy but I think we did it. I may experiment with it more moving forward, I'd love to work with them again on something original."
The "Ultimate (BADBADNOTGOOD Sessions)" video can be seen above. Curry has also announced an extensive European tour set to begin in November. The tour runs through until December with all dates and venue information seen in the poster below.
Governors Ball 2017 Festival Review: The 10 Best Performances
Posted on June 07, 2017
Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaries named in the Top 10 Best Performances at Gov Ball!
08. CHARLES BRADLEY & HIS EXTRAORDINAIRES
’s shows have always been something of a revelation, but considering the man only recently beat cancer
and returned to the stage, there was a palpable air of blessing to his Friday afternoon set. It’s true he’s not quite back to the sweating, dancing frontman he was just a few months ago; he’s thinner now and perhaps not as capable of the same energy. But if even at half-capacity he’s still able to belt out those howling notes like he did during “How Long” and “You Think I Don’t Know (But I Know)”, dropping to his knees to carry the weight of his mic stand like a bag of life’s worries, it stands as a testament to how incredible the Screaming Eagle of Soul truly is as a showman.
Besides, regardless of how virile the 68-year-old is at this point, he’s still got a killer backing band in His Extraordinaires
. As people sought shelter from the brief downpour that passed over Randall’s Island, they were able to jam out to the powerful grooves of the six-piece while Bradley changed outfits backstage. Yes, he’s still doing costume changes, still preaching love and change through music, and still tossing that mic stand. Most importantly of all, he still loves you. As the crowd made abundantly clear with their constant cheers, they obviously still love him, too. Soar on, you crazy eagle. –Ben Kaye