Fresh Music Roundup (#26) – Friday 27th October 2017

This week’s Fresh Music Roundup is an eclectic¬†mix of sounds and genres. It features music from the likes of Ty Dolla $ign and AJ Tracey. It also features UK band, Everywhere, who have been featured on BBC Introducing and have supported Kaiser Chiefs, as well as music from Johnny, a Brooklyn based Singer/Producer. Check it out below, and don’t forget to leave a comment about what songs you’re listening to this month!

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Fresh Music Roundup (#24) – Friday 8th September 2017

It’s that time again. Lately, I’ve been trying to find some alternative artists to listen to as I’m not really feeling what is currently popular and on the radio. I’ve included songs by artists such as Steve Lacy, Princess Nokia and German fem-cee Ace Tee. I look forward to hearing what these artists come out with next! Enjoy ūüôā

Fresh Music Roundup (#23) – Sun 30th July 2017

Hello, I know it’s been a while, (nine months to be exact), since I’ve done a Fresh Music Roundup and that is inexcusable, so I’m going to show you some of the songs that I have discovered/been listening to the most during the past month. The playlist includes music from the likes of J Hus, Rihanna and Kali Uchis. I hope you enjoy!

Let’s Talk About…(#13) – Solange’s ‘A Seat at the Table’

A definite contender for Album of the Year,¬†A Seat at the Table,¬†is gracious, smooth, subtle, bold and daring. The album is undeniably ‘black’, with several songs scattered with¬†positive affirmations¬†to uplift the black community, including Weary; (Be leery about your place in the world), Mad; (I ran into this girl, I said “I’m tired of explaining.”/I’m not feeling allowed to be mad), and, Don’t Touch My Hair.

solange_cover-1475240092-1000x1000The album could not have come at a better time with all of the racial tension going on in the United States, as well as a collective sense of confusion and anxiety over the upcoming elections in November where the fate of the country will be decided.

What also adds to¬†the album’s greatness, are the interludes by Solange’s parents, Tina and Matthew, as well as legendary rapper and entrepreneur, Master P, who each recount their personal experiences growing up and generally living and working in America¬†while black. We hear about childhood experiences and Master P’s inspirational story about earning enough money from his black-owned, independent record label, that he could afford to buy the whole white-owned block that his mother was then living in.

Sonically, the album is solid; it is authentic in its sound partially due to the use of real instruments, production from the likes of Raphael Saadiq, Q-Tip and Solange herself, who also, incidentally, wrote the majority of the project as well. This makes for a more personal and relatable feel to the songs. The way she uses her voice is very nice as well, the harmonies are beautiful, especially with additional vocals from the likes of Tweet, Sampha and Dev Hynes.

Personally, my favourite tracks from the album are; Where Do We Go From Here, Mad, Cranes in the Sky, Don’t Touch My Hair, F.U.B.U and Junie. I know it’s basically the whole album, but the project as a whole is objectively amazing and it’s hard to select stand out songs. I have literally had it on repeat since it was released. I am proud of Solange, and was interested to see what headspace she would be in since the release of her True EP four years ago. I couldn’t have asked for a better album. I would definitely give it 5/5.

Fresh Music Roundup (#21) – 16/9/16

This month’s Fresh Music Roundup features fantastic new tracks from the likes of Emile Sand√©, MiC LOWRY and Tinashe. Take a listen below!

Fresh Music Roundup (#20) – June 30th 2016

It’s that time again; time to re-up on some fresh new music to add to your collection. This selection is unusually bountiful but I’m feeling extra generous. This playlist features new music from the likes of Mila J, Usher, Mali Music and Tory Lanez. Take a listen below:

 

Where You At? (#1) – Haim

In this brand new feature I will be talking about anything from musical artists, to TV shows, to even shops that have seemingly disappeared for the time being, and trying to lure them back to doing what they are good at. This edition is about the genre-defying American trio of sisterhood, Haim.

Haim first came to prominence in 2013 with the release of their debut album Days Are Gone. The band, consisting of sisters; Este, Danielle and Alana made waves in the music world with their unique sound incorporating elements from Rock, R&B and Pop. Haim effortlessly created musical masterpieces by drawing from a vast plethora of influences including Michael Jackson and Fleetwood Mac, which as mentioned, make for an eclectic sound.

Their singles include; Don’t Save Me, Forever, Falling, If I Could Change Your Mind, The Wire and My Song 5 (My personal favourites being Forever and Falling). Each of these songs instantly memorable to anyone familiar with the tracks. These tracks are iconic not only for their vocal arrangements, and enchanting pulsating guitar riffs, as well as¬†their hummable melodies, but for their display of the obvious camaraderie between the sisters. They know their sound and what they are about and this is evident from the album; the music speaks for itself.

The band has also proven their worth beyond the album, with cuts such as their take on Tame Impala’s ‘Cause I’m a Man, Woman¬†which is a spectacular take on the already phenomenal track by the Australian psychedelic rock band.

In addition to their work with Tame Impala, the band have also created songs for film soundtracks including Insurgent and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. On top of this, they have also been working on their radio show HAIM Time, which airs on Beats 1 on Apple Music, and have been touring. So it is evident that they have been keeping busy amidst their absence from the music scene. However, I am hoping that the sisters are also working on some new music because the world needs another Haim album! Where you at, Haim?

Let’s Talk About…(#9) Updates on Music, Movies & Shows

Movies:

Since the year began, I have been keeping track of all the movies and shows that I have watched (as well as the¬†books I’ve read… notice how that isn’t a category hereūüėā). It’s a tradition I started last year, and decided to continue because I wanted to diversify the types of films and shows that I was watching to become more open minded and ‘cultured’. Before you go on, I apologise in advance for my interchangeable use of the words ‘film’ and ‘movie’ because I can never decide which to use.I won’t bore you with my whole list, and since I reviewed Zootropolis¬†last month, I will continue from there. In the time between then and now I have watched an astounding three films ūüėā. They are; Maleficent, Barbershop: The Next Cut, and Iron Man. All three are very different, but I thoroughly enjoyed each of them. Come to think of it, I have actually watched two other films in the past month, one¬†of them being Friend Request, however, it spooked me out so much that I just want to push it out of my memory, so I won’t be talking about it.

I loved the cinematography in Maleficent, although, despite efforts not to be, it did still come across as slightly clich√©. But Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning’s performances were fantastic and the movie was entertaining overall, if not unusually dark for a Disney film. Similarly to Zootropolis,¬†I appreciated¬†the social relevance of Barbershop 3; the comedy was great, ¬†as was the character development and consistency, especially being the third movie in the series, as well as the representation of different age groups in the film. I chose to watch Iron Man as I have been meaning to enter the ‘Marvel Universe’¬†for a while; I wanted to catch up so that I’m able to watch the Black Panther movie in the cinema and actually follow what’s going on, as I’m interested what they will do with the character. Also,¬†there is a big hype surrounding the Marvel Cinematic Universe and this hype is only going to last for the next couple of years, as we have already reached Phase Three of the studios planned clusters of films being released to follow their narrative arc. My interest in Marvel has also extended to TV, which I will now talk about.

TV Shows:

I’ve been watching quite a few shows lately. The ones I’ve given the most attention to are;

  • Prison Break
  • Supergirl
  • The Flash
  • Daredevil
  • A Different World
  • Agents of SHIELD

Out of the six, shows I would have to say that I enjoy Prison Break the most as the storyline has so many twists and turns, which engages me greatly because, believe it or not, watching movies and TV shows can actually be a chore for me I find it very difficult to sit in one place for an elongated period of time before getting bored a
nd wanting to do something else., which means, often I have to watch movies in episodic bursts, for instance, it took me three days to finish Iron Man because I kept losing interest or getting distracted!

However, with¬†Prison Break, I find myself losing track of time, thinking ‘that can’t have been forty-five minutes gone already!’, and considering whether or not I have enough time to fit in another episode. I love how the characters are forced to get along as a result of their shared common goals and enemies. The only other shows¬†that I’ve watched, in recent memory, that have had the same effect on me are;¬†The Office (UK)¬†and¬†Extras. I could watch them all day! But with shows like Daredevil, I find myself losing interest by half-way, not because it isn’t interesting, but because I feel it is unnecessarily elongated. It could be due to the fact that I have not connected with the characters yet and so have no pull-factor to draw me into the show. I guess over time this will change and I will feel more inclined to give the show my full attention.

Music:

kaytranada-xl

Apple Music has been a great tool for discovering (and rediscovering) music for me lately. I am also elated to find out that they are introducing new reduced rates for students, which is great if it is true. This month I have been listening to a wide variety of music from the likes of Kaytranada, Tame Impala, Hiatus Kaiyote, Skepta, Sade and Coldplay. A strange mix, I know, but as I said, I am trying to be open to new things. You can read more about what I’ve been listening to in this month’s Fresh Music Roundup here.

That just about wraps up this unprecedented edition of ‘Let’s Talk About…’.¬†Don’t forget to leave a comment and follow me on Twitter @ChrisCultureUK to keep up to date on my latest posts!

Fresh New Music Roundup (#17) 8th May 2016

With this month’s Fresh Music Roundup, I thought I’d try something different. I’ve compiled all of my picks into an easy to use Spotify playlist as it can get annoying when links to Youtube or Soundcloud die. Get into¬†my favourite songs from the past month below and if you have any thoughts on the songs or suggestions on what I should listen to, feel free to leave a comment!

I am now going to give once sentence response to each track. Here goes:

NUMBERS – Classic Pharrell’s punchy percussion blends well with Skepta’s skillful flow.

GOT IT GOOD РKaytranada recruits UK gem, Craig David for a groovy, guaranteed head-bop.

HONEY – Katy B and Kaytranada team up for a smooth, this shoulder-swaying single.

NO BROKEN HEARTS – Seemingly Sia inspired, Bebe Rexha also takes inspiration from hip-hop, to create a very current track.

IN COMMON – Alicia Keys has definitely been listening to Drake’s ‘Take Care’, but it’s still a tune though.

WRITE ON ME РCountry inspired, Fifth Harmony, give us guilt-free Pop!

Fresh Music Roundup #16 – April 4th

Greetings everyone. Firstly, I just wanted to apologise for the lack of a FMR for last month but it was a crazy four weeks; two of which were spent on a well-deserved holiday! But I’m back and you can expect more frequent posts in the coming months. Anyway let’s get into this month’s picks:

Andra Day – Rise Up

Who doesn’t love a beautiful ballad? Andra is on ballad duty this time,¬†giving everyone a dose of inspiration and motivation. This self-love+encouragement anthem is sure to get everyone feeling like they can achieve their goals.

Jorja Smith – Blue Lights

Jorja Smith tells the story of the negative side of the police and their abuse of power in this track; giving sirens and ‘blue lights’ negative connotations whilst comparing them to strobe lights and fairy lights, not too different from when Kanye did something similar in All of the Lights.

Nestbeth – My Dream

When I was on holiday earlier this month, this song (along with Rihanna¬†Work)¬†was inescapable, and with reason too! This is another inspirational island-kissed track which talks about achieving your dreams and goals so that you will be able to say ‘look at me now!’.

Patoranking (ft)¬†Wande Coal –¬†My Woman, My Everything

Another track  which had a huge presence on radio while I was on holiday was this track. A lot of people love this track because of the connection between the Afrobeats artist Patoranking, with the Jamaican recording artist Wande Coal Рtogether they have made a scorcher of a tune which is sure to get people hyped in both countries.

Gallant – Bourbon

Damn, Gallant, back at it again with the glossy, atmospheric track and the throwback R&B adlibs!