Boston soul-funk kings Biscuits & Gravy, once selected by Ernie Ball as the winners of the pop edition of our “Save Your Strings” competition, have today dropped their second full length, Young Love. It features the single “Down With You,” a smooth, vocal and horn driven pop track that evokes prime-era Michael Jackson as well as Nile Rodgers‘…well, his whole career. The band successfully embraces that familiar ’70s-’80s hybrid, a vibe that connects the rest of the songs on the album. It’s a great time. More like this:
It’s another masterful pop jam from Brooklyn duo Late Cambrian, this time a mid-tempo, atmospheric track called “Hot Minute.” This is the fourth single from their upcoming EP, and it’s accompanied by a blissful, tripped-out and triple-exposed day at the beach video, featuring band members John and O, who also directed and edited the video themselves.
It was a drag a few years back, when it seemed as though Admiral Twin, the Tulsa OK indie rock band that had topped our charts many times, had gone dormant. But not long after that, we realized that a new favorite of ours, The House of Jed, whose song “Coming Off Pretty” had nearly topped our Intel Superstars channel, is in fact the solo project of Jarrod Gollihare, songwriter from Admiral Twin. And, furthermore, The House of Jed is even more directly up our alley. The music is adventurous but unpretentious, melodic and modern but with substance. Since that first single, we’ve had several more faves from THOJ, including a super-cool video for “Everybody Lies” and a brand new one, the raison d’post, a killer track called “I Eat Earthquakes Like You For Breakfast.”
Yeah, it’s that time when fall smothers summer and ushers in all the attendant ennui. On his new single, “Summertime Luv,” Yonas is feeling it. But as he reflects on the moment, he’s looking to bridge the seasonal divide, carrying forward a summer romance. “There’s something in the air / I feel it everywhere / And I don’t want to leave you, behind,” he sings. It’s a great upbeat groove that still conveys an essential melancholy before sliding into the hook. And we also get another high quality clip, directed by frequent Yonas collaborator Mike Squires.
Following last year’s Do As People Do EP, Beecher’s Fault are back with a new single, “Life In This Light.” The new track is a complex hybrid, adorning the band’s folky rock with soulful, gospel-inspired backing vocals and ambient guitars, all of which get their moment to shine through a spare arrangement built on the rush and lull of complicated rhythmic patterns. And then just when you’ve caught up with the flow, the song launches into it’s final third, a driving rock beat with some classic rock guitar figures and vocoder vocals.
The song is accompanied by a lyric video with disconcertingly busy city-life images juxtaposed with sweeping landscape images, further emphasizing the duality of the music and the lyric’s preoccupation with maintaining perspective. Watch below.
We at OurStage and Amazing Media are excited to be partnering with McDonald’s of Hawaii for the NextNext search for the Sounds That Spark Change. We are bringing together Hawaiian artists with music fans and local charities in an effort to spread great music and help worthy causes. Here, we’ll highlight some of the artists who have already signed up to participate, so that fans around the world get a chance to hear this great new music. You can learn more about the competition below.
Jeff James (sometimes aka Jeffro) is an artist whose feel-good island-influenced music belies a man with a serious purpose and a commitment to social betterment. it makes him a perfect addition to the NextNext Hawaii roster of artists, all of whom have demonstrated a willingness to help their community and are sponsoring charities now in order to do so.
Inspired by a friend’s personal story, James recently made a short film highlighting the plight of homeless children in the Philippines. The film, entitled “Compassion,” focuses on personal sacrifice in the service of others. You can watch it below.
The other side of the Jeff James coin is, of course, his music. A multi-instrumentalist, James often performs as a one-man band, using loops and effects to accompany himself. On record, he can go from an airy ukulele song to a full-bore pop production, the latter exemplified by his tracks “GoGoGoGo” and his #1 hit on local radio charts, “Hawaiian Girls.” In Japan, he found similar success with another single, “Love Me.” He’s won multiple awards, including 2013’s People’s Choice Asia Best New International Male Performer.
Listen to “GoGoGoGo” below, and check out Jeff James on NextNext. Help artists helping others.
Designed to connect a community of artists and music fans around a positive message of helping important causes, NextNext Hawaii invites those artists to sign up and select a charity to sponsor. Fans, who can get votes by visiting any participating McDonald’s location in Hawaii, can listen to the artists on the free NextNext app, create playlists, and vote for favorites. With each vote, the artist’s selected charity gets a donation. At the end, the top-ranked artists will be awarded cash prizes, including a grand prize of $5,000 and the opportunity to have music released via Amazing Records.