Songs of the Week: 4/3/2020

I only have two goals for this series: 1) Introducing the masses to great new music and 2) Giving myself an excuse to listen to every single new release on the Tidal streaming service so I can stay up with new music. Doing this on a weekly basis means that I have a one week window to get this up before the Tidal feed flips to the next set of records, so by posting song reviews rather than full album reviews, it allows me to get more out there and then if you choose to dig deeper, you can.

So… songs of the week for the release date of 4/3/2020.

  • Artist: Empress Of
  • Song: “U Give It Up”
  • Album: I’m Your Empress Of
  • Genre: Dance Pop
  • Notes: I’m Your Empress Of is the third full length from Lorely Rodriguez out of Los Angeles, California. The album is filled with electronic dance pop that sounds ready made for the club.
  • Artist: Thundercat
  • Song: “I Love Louis Cole”
  • Album: It Is What It Is
  • Genre: Acid Jazz / Funk
  • Notes: This is the 4th solo LP from this prolific funk, jazz and hip-hop bassist. He’s a much sought after musician especially after being a major player on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly album. Jazzy and funky, this guy is a cool cat for sue and he oozes that coolness here.
  • Artist: Black Atlass
  • Song: “Night After Night”
  • Album: Dream Awake
  • Genre: R&B
  • Notes: Well, this is interesting. Black Atlass is signed to XO records which is the label run by The Weeknd. And this album sounds exactly like a record from the boss. I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference it I didn’t know I was listening to first. Very intriguing to sign your clone but hard to argue since it’s a very good album.
  • Artist: Ant Saunders
  • Song: “Pedestrian”
  • Album: Bubble
  • Genre: R&B / Pop
  • Notes: Here’s a brand new one for me, I believe. Bubble is the first EP from Ant Saunders who got his career launched with the song “Yellow Hearts” which he first posted on Tik Tok. I’ve listened to a few YouTube stars that crossed over and of course many soundcloud artists but I don’t think I’ve ever encountered one from Tik Tok before. But that track is on this EP as well as “Pedestrian” which is a really good R&B flavored pop track, so he’s on to something.
  • Artist: Everything is Recorded
  • Song: “03:15 AM / Caviar”
  • Album: Everything Is Recorded
  • Genre: Various
  • Notes: This is the debut album from Richard Russell who is the owner of XL recordings. With this, he created the songs, DJ’s and produced them while he let’s others do the singing and/or rapping. In this case, the mic is given over to Ghostface and well, Steed can’t get enough of Ghostface, ever.
  • Artist: Ashley McBryde
  • Song: “Voodoo Doll”
  • Album: Never Will
  • Genre: Country
  • Notes: I constantly hear female country artists say that they don’t get the respect and radio play they deserve and yet I hear female fronted country music all the time. I’m not fully entrenched in that scene, so they may be right but to my ears only, I don’t get where they are coming from. That said, I think the real test is here. I first heard of her on one of what seems like 12,000 country music awards shows on TV a few years ago especially in 2019 when her last album was nominated for a Grammy. But this album should make her a superstar. But let’s see if it will. She has a different look than 90% of the female country artists of today. She’s not blonde, she’s not all leg and she’s not a young girl. Here you’ve got a 36-year-old bad ass, short and tatted up looking completely different than your standard country superstar and not making pop-crossover material but that’s likely better than almost all of her peers. She’s got a fantastic voice, writes her own tunes and should be a huge superstar, as long as there’s no discrimination based on the fact that she doesn’t look like Carrie Underwood.
  • Artist: Leah Capelle
  • Song: “Triptych”
  • Album: Triptych
  • Genre: Alternative Pop
  • Notes: Man, what a debut album from this Los Angeles, CA singer. Throughout an album about dating, breakups and female empowerment comes sparkling pop songs, riffy rock track and hauntingly powerful mid-tempo tracks that bring all the feels. It was honestly hard to pick one track to spotlight here as the whole album is fantastic.
  • Artist: Kakkmaddafakka
  • Song: “Moonshine”
  • Album: Ontas?
  • Genre: Indie Dance Pop
  • Notes: The name of the group just simply fascinates me more than anything else. It’s Norwegian, so you know, it might mean something in particular though Google translate doesn’t work on it – but if it’s pronounced as it looks, then I think the group is named Cockmotherfucker. The 16-year old in me laughs. But the music is pretty good too – it’s a indie pop EP overall with very danceable qualities to it.
  • Artist: Zuzu
  • Song: “Get Off”
  • Album: How It Feels
  • Genre: Electro Pop
  • Notes: The debut EP from this London, England based singer is a blast of electro pop with a bit of a vintage 70s power pop feel to some tracks.
  • Artist: grouptherapy.
  • Song: “Ice Chips”
  • Album: this is not the album
  • Genre: Hip-Hop
  • Notes: I can’t find much out about these guys as using the google to just brings me to actual therapy sessions. And I don’t know why this isn’t the album because it seems like an album. But it’s all very mysterious. This is either two dudes or like 10 people – I don’t know – but it’s a great hip-hop record with some really catchy beats.

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