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Janelle Monae gives us a sneak peak of her prep for the Dirty Computer Tour

Janelle Monae
Janelle Monae | still from video

Janelle Monáe is back with her third album, Dirty Computer, and a top-billed slot on the Made In America festival in September. Now the pop goddess has gifted us with a short video showcasing her prep for the tour. The one-minute teaser begins with her leading track “Dirty Computer”, featuring Brian Wilson, playing in the background. The video then fades into a variety of clips of the crew and her at work. In every shot, Monáe is of course dressed to the nines, working hard and killin’ it. Even though the video is only a minute long, it’s enough to get you excited for what is to come. Continue reading →

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Ivy Sole will take you for a ride on “Rollercoaster,” the new single from her upcoming EP OVERGROWN

Ivy Sole | photo courtesy of the artist
Ivy Sole | photo courtesy of the artist

The last time we heard from Ivy Sole, was when she released her duo EPs West and East last year. Early this week, the Philly rapper released the lead track off of her upcoming EP OVERGROWN titled “Rollercoaster”, which is set to drop in the fall via her new Les Fleurs Records. Produced by CRO, Kam DeLa, and Ethan Tomas, the single has a nice bounce that will get you boppin’ in your seat. What gives you that rollercoaster effect is Ivy’s lyrical work. It dives deep into feelings of being mistreated and ignored — “You gon hate me til you love me again / You gon hate me til I’m at your doorstep / Hate me til I’m getting undressed / Love me when you hear that door lock” — and her vocals are so smooth on top of that laid-back melodic rhythm. Continue reading →

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Philly rapper Armani White’s textured video for “casablanco freestyle” will keep your eyes glued to the screen

Armani White | via facebook.com/armaniwhitemusic

In May, the one and only Armani White gave us yet another banger titled “casablanco freestyle” produced by Seattle’s own Sango. Now, he’s back with a music video to match. The concept of the video is simple, with all focus being on the West Philly rapper while he spits his bars. What makes the whole thing is the editing. It’s wild. Filmmaker Jared Marston incorporates so many elements of color and visual texture that they keep your eyes glued to the screen. It complimented the quick location changes, shot by DBDS & JoshyGonz, and Armani’s body language. Continue reading →

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Oakland’s Elujay gets old school on “Locked In,” brings the Bay Area to The Voltage Lounge

Elujay | photo via facebook.com/ElujayMusic

Oakland neo-soul singer, rapper and producer Elujay first came on my radar when he released his 2016 debut project Jentrify. It was an upbeat and soulful mix of tracks with a lot of catchy melodic hooks that showcased his laid-back style of delivery as well as his sensual vocals.

For lyrical inspiration, Elujay looked at the changes in his Bay Area community, where high-end new developments were causing a shift that displacing longtime lower-income residents. He other goal with the thirteen track collection was to represent the community’s thriving musical culture by incorporating many of its creative minds, musicians, and voices, including Samaria, Jay Ant, Rexx Life Raj, and more.

From there, Elujay has been releasing a bunch of singles such as the infectious Goldlink-esque style track “Golden” and earlier this month, a soulful gem titled “Locked In” following his equally smooth track “Starchild.” The artist debuted the new track on a performance with COLORS (watch the video here) as a preview for his to-be-titled second full-length project. Continue reading →

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Ben Howard shows a new side of himself on his new album Noondays Dream after a four year hiatus

Ben Howard
Ben Howard | photo courtesy of the artist

Following his 2014 record, I Forget Where We Were, English folk / rock singer-songwriter Ben Howard released his third full-length album titled Noonday Dream via Island Records. It’s been four years, and the self-produced album was well worth the wait. Of course, nothing could ever beat his past work like his double platinum 2011 record Every Kingdom. However, that is not his intent for Noonday Dream. The album is not meant to mimic that nostalgic sound that got fans hook, but rather to take a step in a new direction. Continue reading →

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Feel the waves pass you by with Camp Candle’s new single “Save Me”

Camp Candle | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | courtesy of the artist
Camp Candle | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | courtesy of the artist

Just last month the Philadelphia duo Camp Candle released their music video for “Feelin’ A Way,” and now they’re back with another release titled “Save Me” from their upcoming, yet to be titled album. As you listen, you feel as if you’re standing on a beach with the sun gently brushing up against your face. The flow of the melody resembles rising and falling tides. Not to mention, vocalist/guitarist Hetepsa’s soft vocals do a perfect job of enhancing that wave-like melody.

If you’re not familiar, Camp Candle has made a splash around the local scene over the past couple years, fusing genres such as hip-hop, pop, and electronic rock to create songs that make you feel some type of way. With that in mind, I’m curious to see what their upcoming EP will sound like. Hopefully we get a taste when Camp Candle plays at the TCC Art & Music Festival in Schwenksville; for Philly folks, they’ll be at The Pharmacy on June 22nd and Ortlieb’s on July 12th, and you can get details at the XPN Concert Calendar Continue reading →

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Cee Knowledge and the Cosmic Funk Orchestra is laid-back and romantic on new single “Spaceman,” featuring Marchitect and Cookie Rabinowitz

Cee Knowledge | via ceeknowledge.bandcamp.com

Founding member of the 90s hip-hop trio Digable Planets, Craig “Doodlebug” Irving’s talents in the studio and on the mic have marked him as a legend. In 2000, he founded Cee Knowledge & The Cosmic Funk Orchestra and has built a solo career on the side in the time since. The frontman continues to bring his jazzy rap flow to the stage, along with six other music veterans who are passionate about what they do and the city they’re from.

The Philly based funk/hip-hop group just released a new single, “Spaceman,” taken from their upcoming album Alien-Aided, set to drop on June 15th. Cee Know describes the upcoming record as “a cosmic fun anthology, or a collection of scattered thoughts, static rhythms, and smoked out vibes.” It incorporates many talented artists such as Abstract Artform, Marchitect, El Carnicero, Supreme Kai, Shawneci Icecold, Cookie Rabinowitz, Dr. Drummah, and Cazal Organism. Continue reading →

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ZiD Dimension tells us about The Theory of Mythical Love on her new EP

 

ZiD Dimension | via musicbyzid.bandcamp.com

Smooth beats, mesmerizing vocals, and good vibes radiate from multi-dimensional Philly artist ZiD Dimension on their latest EP The Theory of Mythical Love. The five-track collection explores her interpretations of “fake love” which is where the term “mythical” comes into play. The opening track “MOVE ON”  creates this mellowing effect where you can’t help but get lost in her voice.  “How Can I?” gives the listener a taste of ZiD’s emcee skills as well as what she can do behind the board and on the guitar. “In & Out” and “TIMESUP” will both put you in your feels. The closing track “The VOID” is mostly instrumental with a voice recording of someone talking, while is a common occurrence throughout the EP, smacked right in the middle. Continue reading →

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Hurray for Riff Raff’s “Pa’lante” gets the short film treatment, shedding light on the people of Puerto Rico

Hurray for the Riff Raff | still from video

Hurray For The Riff Raff has released a short film based on her 2017’s song “Pa’lante”, the closer from their sixth LP The Navigator via ATO Records. The ballad has been recognized by many big names including Pitchfork as the “Best New Track” and NPR Music as “one of the most articulate songs of a generation.” The title of the song was inspired by the name of the newspaper published by the Puerto Rican community activist group Young Lords; “Pa’lante” is an expression that translates to “onward, forwards,” which reflects the people of Puerto Rico’s will to rebuild their community after the catastrophic damage from Hurricane Maria. Director Kristian Mercado Figueroa explains further below. Continue reading →

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NonCOMM Recap: The Record Company get down to business on the NPR Music stage

The Record Company | photo by Dylan Eddinger | dylaneddingerphoto.squarespace.com

All I can say is lead man Chris Vos from LA’s bluesy rock band The Record Company is an animal. The trio hit the stage and got right to business with no hesitation. The intense energy and enthusiasm from the band’s righteous guitar licks, ferocious drumming, and killer harmonica solos had the crowd go crazy. Not to mention, Vos delivered some ridiculous falsettos that could be heard from the heavens. Bassist Alex Stiff and drummer Marc Cazorla kept everything tight as the charismatic frontman was thrashing, giving the crowd some epic guitar solos. Continue reading →