New Music Daily
Joey Aich is gearing up for the release of his next EP, If Money Grew on Trees. With the EP due out in a few weeks, he gives us a lastte taste of what to expect with “Meccas.”
Boasting a 90’s hip hop sound, Joey flexes his ability to keep it about the words. “Meccas” notably sounds influenced by Pabst & Jazz from one of Joey’s idols, Asher Roth. I can neither confirm or deny this statement despite my friendship with Joey, but wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case.
If Money Grew on Trees: March 30th
Minnesota-based songwriter Andy Cook crafts surprisingly poignant folk rock. His jangly musings are both earthy and cerebral, putting him on course for the pantheon of classic American songwriters. “Swirl”—a song reminiscent of Real Estate or Kurt Vile, is one of the many standouts from his forthcoming 22 minute EP Modern Man. The gorgeous tape echo-drenched, desert rock odyssey addresses the pressures and images surrounding us daily, and the desire to be “in” while still being individual.
Hello, strangers! It has been a minute since I last posted, but in celebration of Sunset coming back from being down for a few weeks and [gasp!] finally being mobile friendly (I beg you, disregard the fact that I work in digital media and have had a non-mobile friendly website for the past 9 years), I am back! I am committing to writing a longer piece soon about where I’ve been, what I’ve gotten into, my thoughts on life, all that. But for now, I wanted to get back to my roots of introducing you to some music that’s moving me at the moment.
While I was out on a run this morning listening to a 60 Minutes Podcast (yes, I am old, and yes, I admit to listening to podcasts rather than music as I run now; again, more on that later when I share some thoughts on life), I was introduced to the Zomba Prison Project. Before continuing to read this, I recommend pressing play on the Spotify player below to get a taste of what this group sounds like. I was immediately captivated by the familiarity of the instrumentals and — despite my inability to understand one word — the soft nature of the vocals. Sure, the song titles of some tracks are a bit jarring, but without knowing anything more than what the music sounds like, I’d have had no idea what I was about to find out: this entire album is written and performed by a prisoners at a maximum security prison in Malawi.
The album was recorded and produced by Grammy-winning producer Ian Brennan and his wife, who set out to travel the world in pursuit of talented artists. If I was a betting woman, I’d put my money on the fact that they were pleasantly surprised when they stumbled across the talent they found at Zomba Prison. Built in the 19th century and designed to hold 340 people, the prison is home to over two thousand Malawian prisoners, most of whom have been given life sentences.
When invited to create music, one woman volunteered and sang a song that displayed vulnerability and sadness of her situation. Following her lead, the floodgates opened, and many other prisoners volunteered to tell their stories via song. What resulted is a collection of stories I cannot translate, but that one can hear the beauty and a mix of sadness and hope in. As mentioned in 60 Minutes, these prisoners turn to music to find an escape, but as soon as the music stops, a harsh reality sets in.
In 2016, this album was nominated for a Grammy for Best World Music Album. While it didn’t win, the inmates at the Zomba Prison were given a cause for celebration. And if you allow yourself to let go of preconceived notions and recognize music for what it is — a universal language of unity — that’s a pretty beautiful thing.
Brooklyn, NY-based noise-rockers Russian Baths produce monstrous walls of chiming guitar ambience. One might assume these dense, aggressive tones would require the vocal chords of a screamo front man to penetrate, but in an utterly unique role reversal, we are gifted with the etheric musings of Jess Ress. The combination ends up sounding a little bit like Dolores O’Riordan fronting a Chapel Hill noise pop band, with a dash of 70s space rock for good measure.
Kendrick Lamar and SZA have joined forces for the first single off of the Black Panther soundtrack, All The Stars. It was previously confirmed that Kendrick would be producing the entire soundtrack for the film, releasing next month. Both artists also received grammy nominations for the forthcoming ceremony. Kendrick received six nominations while SZA received five, making her the most nominated woman. If this is a sign of whats to come we’re sure to be in for another great year in music.
Check it out below.
As 2017 comes to a close, this marks another year that we’re able to share with you the music that hit home. The beauty of what’s been compiled lies within the tastes of each contributor. Some are rap heavy, while others lean towards indie. It’s a unique playlist that’s crafted by us in hopes that you expand your digital (or physical) library. Continue to keep your ears open for artists, or genres that you have yet to discover. Finding the ~diamond in the rough~ has never been easier, and spreading the love is one click away.
As you think about your goals for the upcoming year, pay it forward by sharing music with those you surround yourself with. I challenge you to find one song on this playlist that you’ve never heard before, and send it to someone you think would enjoy it. The feeling knowing that someone appreciates a song recommendation is unmatched. At the end of the day, there is an absurd amount of talent in this world. Some have yet to crack 1k plays on SoundCloud, and others have the first name of Aubrey. Why not share it? Spread the love.
The Sunset Fam would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy new year. Stay safe, and have fun tonight.
Last week Cleveland-based MC Dave Zup dropped his cathartic LP, Oh, It’s Going, which he quietly crafted after a skateboard accident left him immobilized for months. Zup used the isolating downtime to create his debut solo LP and can be heard venting his pain and boredom in realtime, on heavy duty painkillers. On lead-off single “Every4Hrz”, Zup tells his story through a haze of prescription meds, blessing the sparse production with his signature irreverence. His stone cold flow is so sharp, not even a drug coma could hinder his in-the-pocket delivery.
LA-based, Boston export Jenna Lotti crafts anthemic, hopeful pop bangers – ya know the kind that make a hectic day slightly more tolerable? Her dialed-in pop has been featured in American Songwriter and PopMatters with local buzz via Sound of Boston & Boston Globe. A move to LA this past year coincided with the recording of her ambitious new song “Warning Signs” for her forthcoming EP, and if this is representative of what we can expect on her new release, Jenna Lotti is without a doubt going to be a viable fixture in the singer-songwriter / pop landscape.
Brooklyn based, Nigerian born rapper Thutmose drops your next catch phrase in the form of a song. “WuWu” is your new anthem, your new slang, your new lifestyle. Standing for “what’s up with you,” this bouncy, tropical sound will infect your brain waves and have you hitting the replay button. Hop on this one now before the band wagon takes off for Thutmose, or else you may regret it.
Following the release of I See You, the third studio album from The XX, Jamie xx has now released a vibrant remix of On Hold. As far as solo projects go, Jamie has remained pretty quiet since releasing and touring his debut album, In Colour. Since its release in 2015 fans have been desperately waiting for more but considering he spent five years recording his first, we may not see a sophomore album too soon. At least for now we can bask in his spirited, dreamy sound with this.
Check it out below.
With only one debut EP their name, Hoeksema have established themselves, as a master of hushed ambience, conjuring up the fractured dark vibes of Youth Lagoon and Purity Ring. “Palais” is the inventive lead-off single from the stunning new EP, Life After, which mines personal depths of lead singer Samuel’s recent tribulations with loss. It’s a striking interplay of syncopated pads, subtle vocal melodies and lush keys that makes for one of the most hypnotizing listens of the summer and the perfect accompaniment for shedding our skin into the new season.
There’s nothing better than stumbling across a surprise, off-album single from one of your favorite artists. In this particular instance, I heard the smooth sound of SZA‘s Quicksand ring through my TV speakers during the season 2 Finale of Insecure (GREAT show, in case you’re in need of a new one)- and I raced to my phone to Shazam it. SZA’s lyrics are so clearly rooted in personal experience that it’s impossible to not feel a connection to them, and to play them out alongside the heartbreaking love story of Issa and Lawrence!! You can consider me completely hooked.
Check out SZA’s new single below, and if you dig it be sure to check out her debut album, Ctrl, and the Insecure Season 2 Soundtrack.