Video of the Day: Tash Sultana – “Harvest Love (Live Lounge Recording)”

I feel like this artist really needs no introduction. Tash Sultana might be the most well known artist we’ve ever featured here, and she’s only blown up more since we got this song in our inbox several months ago. That being said, this song is a perfect introduction to everything I love about Tash Sultana. It strips everything down to it’s basic elements and allows her raw voice to carry the passion and intensity of the song, and she nails it. Her voice is one that makes you a little angry at god that you’ll never have it, but so blessed to witness it. I just want to emphasize some of my favorite lyrics for a second:

“I had a plan ‘Cause I had a plan, you see.
It was based on the rules that my mother and father taught me.
Press the iron when it’s hot, you jump right in.
Because the unfed mind devours itself,
water your garden”

I think most of us that don’t necessarily sync up with all of our parents’ teachings can empathize with these lines. Once that carpet gets ripped out from under you (and really thank god it does), you are left in sort of a painful, scary place for a while until you can rebuild your own mottos, maxims, viewpoints, even if that means you think there are none. Water your garden.

Bio: TASH SULTANA is a dynamic young artist who has commanded world attention since homemade videos of her jamming went viral. A true virtuoso, Tash was soon selling out big theatre shows globally and playing at the world’s biggest festivals including Lollapalooza and Coachella Music and Arts Festival. When playing live, Tash appears on stage entirely solo, creating vast and amazing soundscapes using an array of equipment and live instruments – but absolutely no laptops or backing tracks. She plays an incredible 18 different live instruments during the course of her show.

Tash – “I wrote Salvation when I realised I could be better than the things that I’d done in my past that I regret. That I am the creator of my own narrative and can always continue to grow and move forward into being a better person and can always make better decisions, that it’s okay to accept you’ve fucked up from time to time.”

All of the songs on ‘Flow State’ are produced, written, performed and arranged by Tash herself. She plays every one of the 15 instruments and sounds that feature throughout, including saxophone, pan flute, grand piano and guitar to name a few.

To date, Tash has amassed over 175 million streams globally for her previous EP ‘NOTION’, topped the iTunes charts in multiple countries, achieved gold sales for EP ‘Notion’ and platinum sales for single ‘Jungle’ which also featured in FIFA 18. Her meteoric rise has been entirely via word-of-mouth without support from traditional media

 

Salvation is available here: http://smarturl.it/TS.Salvation

-Caleb

Video of the Day: Noya Sol “הבלוז של בנות חורין – The Blues Of Freeborn Women – Empty Bed Blues”

Do you ever wish they made music like they used to? Complete with decade appropriate attire and a horn section that trails the melody? Well, I have good news for you. Watch this video from Noya Sol. Set with a sepia background that makes you want to smoke one of those new fangled cigarettes from France sonny, this song captures the blues of the turn of the 20th century with the utmost authenticity.

Press Release:  “Noya Sol brings to life the original, early 20th century women’s Blues: This is the Blues that emerged as the expression of black women who, for the first time in history, found themselves free – a legal, financial and sexual freedom. And the full meaning of freedom includes also the realization that freedom does not take care of you – it only allows you to take care of yourself, as best you can.
The discrepancy between hopes and reality gave rise to a new type of music: powerful, bold, beautiful, unabashedly horny and forthcoming about all aspects of life, both good and sad.
Noya Sol fearlessly steps into the shoes of the queen of the Blues, Bessie Smith. She ought to be admired for the sheer audacity of doing so, but then – she also does it in the best way possible: her own way, imbuing the songs with her own personal interpretation, giving a very up-to-date touch to the sounds that, 100 years ago, changed the world, with all due respect and with a liberating sense of here and now.”

As someone who only knows a little about the history that this song is attempting to step into, I have to say it sounds like the real deal to me. The confidence in the singing rings out of a youtube video to create a time machine.

-Caleb

 

 

Video of the Day: Tender Glue – “Rudy”

Image result for tender glue

I have a really chill song for you guys to check out this morning. Before we get into the song itself, I really like the vibe of this video. There’s nothing overly complicated going on. It’s mainly just quick shots of various things, and an occasional video of the guitarist playing the song in a shadowy room, but the bright colors and strange effects keep me glued to it, and it fits so well with the music and vibe of the song in general. If you guys are trying to make a good video on a budget, take notes. Now, let’s dive into the song itself a little bit, listen to it again here if you want, to give my guy some Spotify plays:

 

“And if I go
Roll one for me
Cigarettes you used to smoke
Hope you will quit
And if I die
Bury me so deep under all our lies
Hope you will quit”

I love the sentiment to the chorus here. There is this awesome dissonance of wanting what’s best for someone, and accepting them as they are. He wants this person to remember him when he’s gone, and remember him in the way that they feel comfortable, even if he’d rather the person quit smoking and be healthy. It’s really a beautifully melancholic sentiment.

Don’t just take my word for interpretations though, let’s check out the artist’s idea about his creation: “‘Rudy’ was written about 6 years ago and was inspired by a girl I met once. I had chords and a melody written beforehand and the words came quickly to me. This girl had shown me how she rolls her cigarettes, which was inspiration for the lyrics “And if I go ; Roll one for me; Cigarettes you used to smoke; Hope you will quit”. Although some of the lyrics were based on real scenarios, the whole idea of the song is more of an imagination. I took some of the details of this brief non-intimate meeting and created a story.”

I love the idea of these random encounters allowing us to create an entire universe of art, a relationship that never actually happened, and yet, I, as the listener, feel the same emotions regardless of how real or not it was. Really incredible.

Bio: Tender Glue (noun): Not a person. Not a band. Music made by an urge to create.

Tender Glue is made up of Tom Gluewicki, who was originally born and raised in Poland and later moved to New York in 2002. He explains his first encounter with playing music when he was twelve years-old after he had fixed a broken guitar that his brother brought home. You can learn more about his story in the “ABOUT” section of his website.

On September 25th, 2015, Tender Glue released his debut EP titled, “Wait For Steady Light”. After several years of creating original music, this album is a culmination of raw recordings, composed with minimal equipment, using the resources Tom had in his home. Full length album “Steady Light”, which was a continuation of the EP, was released year later on August 26th, 2016.

The latest album titled “Closet Leftovers”, was released on September 28th, 2018 on Tom’s record label called Don’t Label Me Records. The first four singles from the album were released between February to June of 2018. “Closet Leftovers” was recorded and produced by Tom in his studio apartment closet after he moved from Brooklyn to Manhattan more than a year ago.

-Caleb

Video of the Day: BUHU – “La Truth”

Hope everyone that doesn’t have to go into work tomorrow has an excellent Labor Day Sunday. Let’s get it kicked off right with this intriguing video from BUHU. This is my favorite mud people video of all time. I think it’s the only mud people video I’ve ever seen, but that’s irrelevant. I don’t entirely know what to make of the symbolism. But we clearly see a graceful woman in a white dress, unsullied, juxtaposed with a man, with animalistic and jerky movements covered in mud. When they finally meet, she cleans him off, while getting her white dress and skin dirty. Then they wash off in the river and seem to be living happily ever after. Again, it could stand in for a lot of things. But I think we’ve all had the feeling of someone coming into our life at the right time, and helping us clean up some broken part. That doesn’t mean we should be dependent on people for an ideal relationship, but part of a relationship is being there for one another and making each other better. It’s a difficult balance to strike. Sometimes your dirt just gets on them. But when it does work correctly, it’s a beautiful thing. According to the artist, there is also an element on this song dealing with keeping secrets in a relationship, and being forgiven. That makes the symbolism in this song that much stronger in my opinion.

Bio: “La Truth” is a retrospective of Jeremy’s guilt in being dishonest with his wife and the strains that keeping secrets can cause on a loving relationship. Originally released as a demo in May 2017, “La Truth” was the initial spark that inspired the opus which would become BUHU’s debut studio album, Tenets. BUHU hits a galloping pace with “La Truth,” settling into a confident stride similar to some of the strongest synthgaze moments from Washed Out’s catalog. Here more than ever, Rogers leans unabashedly into the Melodyne bends of his vocal processing, laying plain his emotions without denying the synthetic tools of his trade.

-Caleb

Looking for more? We’ve added this song and more to our September TOTD Playlist. 

Don’t forget to check out past playlists as well. Here is August: August TOTD Playlist

 

 

The Flock: Hip-Hop and Soul – Hendrix Harris, Deacon, The Hashassins, DNyse, AV, MastaPiece, Nostalgia, Radioplay Reach

Guys, we are so sorry about the hiatus. We’ve been active with the podcast and interviews, but had to pump the breaks on the blog for a few days to handle real life business. We are back on it though, and we figured the best way to get things back in motion is to have an infectious hip-hop flock.

Let’s go.

*Click on the artists name to go to their website*

 

Hendrix Harris – New Chains

From the second the song starts and you hear that slick little riff, you know it’s going to be one smooth ride. What follows is four straight minutes of what’s easily going to be one of the smoothest things you’ve heard this week. Hendrix flawlessly switches between three different voices: his normal register, his falsetto, and his rap voice. I honestly can’t tell you which one I enjoy the most.

Fuck. I usually try not to get meta with my writing and act as polished as possible. I was doing research on Hendrix, and I just got blown away. I knew I had heard the name and been impressed with his stuff before, but I couldn’t place it. The reason I couldn’t place it is because the song we posted of his before and this song are worlds apart. Are you ready for this? He also does this song.

You can find the blog post here.

That’s versatility. To go from a smooth track that lands more in soulful r&b than hip-hop in one song, to head busting chopper rap in another is absolutely absurd.

 

DEACON – Negritude

You guys know we like to dig into lyrics on the blog, but sometimes we shouldn’t be the ones to discuss the lyrics. With this song, you can put a broad brush across the canvas when trying to figure out what the song is about, but the root of the song is better than anything we could ever come up with. We are painting in large strokes while DEACON is as specific as da Vinci.

DEACON says, “Negritude is a word I discovered on my travels whilst in Los Angeles. I stumbled across an establishment called “Psychiatry – An industry of Death Museum”. Whilst exploring their numerous accounts on the history of mental health practices, I found their section on Racism within psychiatry’s earliest stages. “Negritude – a term used by Benjamin Rush (Founding Father of American Psychiatry) defines “blackness” as a skin disease akin to leprosy, thus deeming segregation a “medical necessity”. The song is my way of flipping that idea on its head, and claiming negritude as the “funk” inherent in the soul of the music. If you don’t want to catch the funk, you better turn off that radio…”

As you guys know, I love digging into a song and figuring out what it means to me personally, but when it’s something this heavy, I like to leave it to the artist.

One interesting line is when they’re talking about ring around the roses, an allusion to the children’s song, Ring Around the Rosies. I don’t want to get into the etymology of the lyrics of the song, but a very common thought as to the roots of the song is that it talks about The Great Plague of London. This is a really cool easter egg in a song about black people being a plague. The lyricism throughout this song was on point for me.

 

The Hashassins – C’Mon

William Wallace (best rap name ever) and Sincere make up the hip-hop duo, The Hashassins. Sometimes a flow and beat come across our radar that is so smooth that we have to stop and take notice even if the lyrics typically aren’t our style. First off, don’t get me wrong about the lyrics, they’re clean. We just usually focus on things that are a little left of center, and the lyrics to the song are pretty straightforward. They’re witty, the cadence is nice, and they change up the rhyme scheme, but they’re talking about very similar ideas that a lot of hip-hop focuses on.

The beat and their flow are both so good that they elevate this song to another level, separating it from similarly worded songs. The piano chords at the beginning combined with the turntables let you know you’re about to be in for one hell of a ride. I’m not talking crotch rocket ride, I’m talking slow-rolling Cadillac with the top down, cruising down Main Street.

DNyse – Now Until Forever

Most hip-hop artists think they can sing, but very few can actually make it happen. DNyse has some pipes. He has this crazy mixture of singing and speaking straight to your soul.

A song about chasing your passion and making stuff happen through action and perseverance, Now Until Forever is a song that anyone who is on the cusp of pursuing something great should listen to. It’ll give you that bump you need to get you moving in the right direction.

 

AV – The Rising Son

The chorus you hear throughout this song is something that you’d hear in a movie as the gladiator steps into the arena, and that’s exactly what AV makes me think of with the lyrics to The Rising Son too. A chesty and bold rapper, he has an aggressive cadence, and doesn’t shy away from speaking his mind.

What does it mean to put her before you 
What does it mean to have faith, to be loyal 
What does it mean 
to rise up for your queen 
Rise up for the teens, lying dead in the streets 
Politicians giving in to they greed 
Make a speech for a fee worth retiring 
You think they could afford to be inspiring 
Placing blame on a groups backfiring 
Blame them blame them, they complacent 
No matter where they stationed, our space taken 
Grab em up, line em up, get em out 
You don’t belong here, show your proof if you brown

With a hook that hits hard, strong lyrics, and a tough flow, the Montgomery Sisters really bring it back to a more digestible level with their beautiful harmonies, making this a song that is making its way onto many of my personal playlists.

 

MastaPiece – Endless Night pt. 1

This song is the song that’s perfect for literally any part of a night where you are wanting to party. Pregame? It lets you know the expectation for the night. Heading to the second spot? It implores you to pick a spot you haven’t gone. Get into something new. Everyone on the cusp of calling it a night? This is the perfect rally song. Seriously. This song fits every part of the evening.

A three piece collective out of Houston, Texas, MastaPiece is turning heads in a major way. Not only are these guys hip-hop artists, but they are notable artists in everything from acting to design. These jacks-of-all-trades have a great future in art ahead of them, they just get the luxury of picking which art(s).

Nostalgia – Alone

Soulful crooning isn’t usually what we share on the blog, but there’s no way we were going to pass over this one. This Australian vocalist is essentially The Weeknd of the Eastern Hemisphere. With a similar sound to some of the most popular artists of today and a music video that had me wondering what was going to happen next from the very beginning, this is the song that would be playing in an adult version of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Stick around to the end for a Shyamalan-esque twist.

Radioplay Reach – Big Money

Radioplay Reach hits us with the song, Big Money, a hard flowing song that was written behind bars in memoriam of a friend who lost his life. The words drip with emotion as he laments the loss of a friend while realizing that this loss only fuels his drive to be successful.

With a heady beat and honest lyrics, Radioplay Reach has a familiar hook in a totally new package.

Morning Commute: Big Sam’s Funky Nation – Pokechop

Even before they started singing about Mardi Gras, it was very clear these guys were here to represent NOLA. There isn’t another city like it on this planet, and the inhabitants are the same way. The video and the sound screams Big Easy. New Orleans is a proud and distinct city, and the only thing that doesn’t fit is the 76ers hoodie in the back. Good thing this isn’t an article about the 76ers and their squad they’ve assembled in Philadelphia that’s led by a man with two left knees. That article wouldn’t be so kind. This is an article about something way better than the Sixers. I’m a Hornets fan, so this is obviously all in good fun. I root for a team that seems content with being a 10 seed in a weak conference. My team also cheated on me and left for the Big Easy a long time ago, which is a perfect segue back to this funk track that is the epitome of the city it was born in.

Everyone feels like funk music is about the hard popping bass lines, the cadence of the vocals, and a powerful brass section. Funk is just as much about the negative space in the song, and Big Sam’s Funky Nation know how to work their negative space perfectly. I know that seems weird, but stay with me. If there’s constant sound to create a “fuller” track, you sacrifice the aspect of funk that is just as synonymous with the genre as the music itself: dancing. Having the negative space, that millisecond between bass lines, is what gives you a paint by numbers guide to exactly how your body should move to the song. It lets you know when to step, stomp, and shake, as witnessed by the men and women in this song. Funk music is about bringing everyone together, having fun, having a few drinks, and dancing until your legs feel like jello, either from the dancing or the drinks.

The perfect picture of New Orleans, Pokechop shows what the city is all about: robust music, a new twist on classic style (except for that 76ers hoodie), beautiful people and architecture, and a penchant for the good life. The Big Easy is known for their parties, and Big Sam’s Funk Nation knows how to throw one hell of a party.

TOTD: Isak Thomas and The Stoop Boys – Old School Walk

Spotify, if you prefer

This is such an appropriate song to wind down your Thursday night with. It is a great way to end a date night, and it’s that perfect groove track to get your weekend moving in the right direction.

This is a song of old school chivalry and a feeling of how things used to be, which is really strange considering that Isak and the other two stoop boys are so young. I don’t have an exact age, but let this picture speak for itself.

Image may contain: 1 person, sunglasses and closeup

That’s Isak. The same Isak who sings about going way back like a ’69 Cadillac. I am sure that people talk about the discrepancy between his lyrics and tone, and the picture he presents, so I don’t want to linger here too long. The point I wanted to make is that Isak and his fellow Berklee grads have a sound that’s refined well beyond their years,  bringing that old school soul vibe with harmonies cusping on doo-wop to a new generation with soulful ad-libs along the lines of a Hozier-esque vocalist at times, and some really smooth guitar riffs.

The lyrics speak for themselves, so I don’t want to touch on them too much. I did want to point out that the lyrical route they take is important because the robust flavor of the love songs in old school soul are almost as synonymous with the genre as the vocalists who made it famous. If you start singing 60’s soul with lyrics centered around politics, rambling stories, or any other off-brand topic, it loses a lot of the power. That’s coming from someone who relates to political dissidence and rambling tales of rail workers a lot better than I relate to love stories like this.

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