1. CLEAN CUT, GROOMED HAIR, NEAT
The Jay Vons make soul, rock, and righteous music. New single ‘It Was Wrong To Love You’ was just being released last Dec 11th and instantly caught the attention. On stage, they are a sensation, with their wailing vocals sitting on top of the screaming guitar lines and caveman drums. Recalling Rocket From The Crypt at their preening best, the band are set to see out the year with a trip to Spain and Portugal. The Jay Vons are currently hard at work recording their debut album at the Daptone House Of Soul.
2. JAZZ FUNK SEXTET
The jazz funk sextet from Brooklyn a must have for anyone who is a fan of jazz, soul, or funk. Their debut album Make The Road By Walking was released in 2008. None of them seems to set the house on fire in terms of playing, what they do very successfully is come together and produce a wonderful record, which has something for every music lover. Hip-Hop-esque beats and the horn sections will have Ska fans all over. The Simple melodies are woven to produce a laid back feel to the record which had me reclining deep in my favourite Geylang couch with no worries. This really is a gem and you can get it at The Barbershop Music.
Raw fuzz guitars and cinematic synths give this atmospheric cover of RZA production a boost all these years later. It’s like a soundtrack score, but with the rawness and grit that a hip hop track should have, except that it’s played live by some of the best to ever do it. We welcome this back into the funk and soul fray and honestly it never gets old. They’ve taken a classic record and just added a whole extra level to it. It’s moody and it’s heavy like Black Sabbath and raw like the slums of Geylang Lorongs after dark. This is one 45 not to be missed, as these Big Crown joints are getting scooped up. Listen to the track and get it at The Barbershop Music.
Omar Rodriguez’s 12th album of 2016, yes 12 album in 6 months. Corazones is perhaps his most mournful, subdued and restrained effort to date. There is a cinematic scope to the album. Each song paints a vivid picture, lyrics inspired by the lost of his mother few years back. And it doesn’t mean he’s playing it safe either as things begin straight and soberly to the point. ‘Running Away’ is an uptempo track veering into 80’s jangle-pop with 60’s psych thrown in for good measure. The song is very straight forward and it’s a personal best on this album and you gotta hear it too.
5. AFRO GONE BRAIDS
Esperanza Spalding’s latest album Emily’s D+Evolution is very fresh, especially ‘Good Lava’ track. ‘See this pretty girl, watch this pretty girl flow’, Spalding asserts boldly at the top of the song, the first track and mission statement. Using a dissonant guitar riff, thumping drums, and lurching time signature, it almost feels like a dare to stick around. Has the feel of nervy gauntlet throw. These are exuberant, confrontational songs, amplified in the same sort of rock and funk hybrid style like The Mars Volta. What’s gone is the Afro, replaced with long braids, wide-rimmed glasses, and fancy offbeat outfits.