It’s been quite a while since I noted what I’m listening to here. That usually represents getting into familiar ruts as well as that it verges on the sort of navel gazing that I try to avoid. But I’ve run across some really interesting music recently and thought I’d share.
The Electric Lady – Janelle Monae
This album is incredible and reaffirms my already high opinion of Janelle Monae’s music. I’m sure someone has put her music in a particular pigeonhole but I would find it hard to describe what type of music she sings. Throughout the album – and this was similar to the previous ArchAndroid album – she sings in what I would consider a variety of styles. My favorites from The Electric Lady are The Electric Lady, Dance Apocalyptic (which she’s performing on a lot of shows), and What an Experience, which has some great horns and a bit of a ska feel to me.
I loved the digital version so much I ordered the vinyl special release. The album is enhanced by DJ CrashCrash‘s interludes throughout the album which are quite funny.
Back to Forever – Lissie
I came across Lissie while listening to Slacker Radio and found that I was favoriting more and more of her songs. It’s very folk-y, but definitely rock with a dash of a country feel maybe? When I downloaded the album, I found even more to enjoy. In particular, the acoustic “stripped down” versions of some of her songs are nice additions. My favorites were Sleepwalking (which is getting the air play with Shameless), Mountaintop Removal, I Bet on You, and I Don’t Want to Go to Work.
This is an interesting group from Virginia. Red, Gold, and Green are the three band members with Green on vocals. He mostly raps but none of the songs are what I would have considered typical rap. The album’s variety is interesting, although it was Lootin’ in London that caught my attention. There’s just such an upbeat feeling to all of the music and the lyrics are quite clever.
The Guardian had a write up on this album. It intrigued me – and was a positive review although I suppose it had a bit of a condescending to it – so I downloaded the album. I’m a big fan of pow-wow music, mostly for the music, although I enjoy the lyrics when I understand them. I had not heard of pow wow step or electric pow wow before. The remixes are really interesting, although most of the singers were new to me, and provide a different way of listening to native music. It’s a great album and I’m going to have to dig around and see what else they are doing.
You can also follow A Tribe Called Red on Soundcloud.