SONG OF THE DAY Johnny Popcorn – Cold World


Image result for johnny popcornYou may already be familiar with the work of Philadelphia’s rock’n’soul three-piece Johnny Popcorn, but this is another new discovery for me!

Describing themselves as a ‘rock band with a lot of soul’ the group as a whole consists of Hezekiah (Vocals), Jani Coral (Vocals), Lloyd Alexander (Guitar), Freshie (Bass) and Clayton Crothers (Drums).

Initially, Johnny Popcorn was founded by producer/bassist Tone Whitfield (Me’shell Ndegeocello and Zap Mama) and songwriter/emcee/producer Hezekiah (Rawkus Records) after several late night s working on R&B artist Bilal’s album. Their early works were pet studio projects released causally to music fans at live shows and digital downloads.  Hezekiah began to devote more time to Johnny Popcorn, recruiting musicians to form a touring band including guitarist Lloyd Alexander and Virginia-native, Jani Coral who added her raspy like vocals to the band.

Today, their innovative sounds have opened gigs for the likes of Bilal, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, RJD2, Robert Glasper Experiment, Oddisee, Ladi6, and Kindred & the Family Soul.  This coming January Johnny Popcorn are releasing a new EP which follows the bands 2016 Totum album.  After spending a little time checking out some of their back catalogue, first single Cold World seems to have a different style, taking the band into a new direction which, true to their genre-bending sound, continues to push the band forward into new realms.  I don’t know about you but Cold World got into my head straight away with its heavy, thundering Dick Dale-style guitar and catchy vocal line, I’m liking it! Check it out above. 

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Posted in afro funk, Afro Pop, Alternative, hip hop, Rock, Soul | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY Good Good Blood – The Day I Was Born


Image may contain: 1 person, closeupGood Good Blood has a magic way of composing gorgeously delicate folk-based melodies that stir the soul with their divine subtlety.

James Smith, aka Good Good Blood, is a UK singer-songwriter whose honest, uncensored and sincere music first blessed my ears back in May this year when I discovered his debut album Songs From Where I Live.

Writing from the heart, Good Good Blood covers personal experiences in his music, expressing and perhaps even exorcising his inner turmoil thorough his words.  His creations are a product of home recordings where he utilises a minimal set-up to lay down his music, drawing upon his resourceful inner world to make each track come alive.

This December James Smith is due to release his second album, Sun of a Gun, which was also written and recorded at home during the first flushes of spring and features 11 songs that reflect the birth and beauty of the time of the year they were born.

Ahead of its release comes The Day I Was Born, a song with the warmest vibes, I can practically feel it heating my skin as the sound dances out of my speaker.  Based upon a rotating melody that tangles you up in its reassuringly dreamy grip, vocals are uplifting and lightweight.  This is a sound that soothes and I am very much enjoying it! Check it out above.

Sun Of A Gun releases on 4th December on Fox Food Records.  Pre-order your copy from here. 

Posted in Alternative, DIY, Folk, Singer/Songwriter | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY Lynette Williams – Light


Harlem-based singer-songwriter and guitarist Lynette Williams has been “known to bring audience members to tears” with her spellbinding vocals, unique folk, jazz and indie-soul sound.  In an interview I found on Youtube, the young musician describes how her mother used to tell her how she could sing before she talked and that her love for music has been with her from a very young age.

Earlier this year Lynette Williams released a single called Light, the track that today introduced me to her delicate and enchanting sound.  Her voice is gentle but her words are firm, echoing with a purity that matches the clarity of each heartfelt lyric.  I love the amount of words she fits into one line with one drawn-out breath, listen and you will see what I mean.  One voice, one guitar and a whole lot of soul, this track it beautiful in all its simplistic glory.  Listen above and purchase your copy from here. 

 

 

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SONG OF THE DAY Hunger – Open Your Eyes (Lost Album Version)


With an intro like this, it’s hard not to give this song your 100% full attention right from the onset! It’s big, bold and dramatic with heavy thumping drums and howling guitars..and this is only the introduction!

Originally recorded in 1968 and featuring on the one and only album this band ever released, Open Your Eyes is a fantastic track from Hunger!

Hunger! arrived in LA from Portland in late 1967 as a cover band originally called the Outcasts, but within a six months they befriended and supported the Doors, struck up a residency on the Sunset Strip, embraced psychedelia and signed on to record an album of original music for Public! Records.  They showed tremendous promise and their producers invested heavily into a band that was going to be the next marquee act at the Whiskey A Go-Go, bringing in members of Strawberry Alarm Clock and Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Ed King to feature on the LP.  But Hunger! broke up before their album’s release and their entry in rock’s canon was shadowed for years.  Today, Hunger! and their album Strictly From Hunger maintains a cult status in psychedelic circles, having been covered by bands such as The Treblemakers and The Glass Keys.  Listen to Open Your Eyes (Lost Album Version) above ( listening out for the interesting tempo change halfway through!)..

The very funky Now-Again Records have reissued, remastered and pressed the definitive Reserve Edition of this album, with the help of bandleader and guitarist John Morton and will be releasing this in mid-January 2018.  Get more details of these here. 

Today Hunger! and the album Strictly From Hunger maintain a cult status in psychedelic circles having been covered by bands such as The Treblemakers and The Glass Keys

Posted in Alternative Rock, Garage Rock, LA, now again records, Psych punk, Psych rock, Psychedelic, Psychedelic rock | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY Brigid Mae Power – Don’t Shut Me Up (Politely)


I really love the clarity of vocals verses the hazy instrumentation in this song, this is the first thing I noticed alongside the very enchanting, free-feel this track possesses.

Don’t Shut Me Up (Politely) drifts along to the rustic hum of a rather hypnotic melody and mesmerising drums.  It’s structure lollops flamboyantly, maintaining a constant rhythm as vocals dive and soar, carried by the pace as they freely fly.

Brigid Mae Power is a singer-songwriter  and multi-instrumentalist who was born in London, raised in Galway and now resides mainly in New York.  Inspired by Joni Mitchell and John Fahey, her music is orientated around a Indie-feel and her voice very much embedded in folk.

Releasing via Tompkins Square, Brigid Mae Power’s forthcoming album, The Two Worlds, is not due until early 2018, but if you don’t want to wait that long, the good news is that she has just released a new single which you can feast your ears on above!

If you like what you hear, you can purchase today’s song from here. 

 

Posted in Folk, Indie, Indie Folk, Singer/Songwriter | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY Jimmy Nolan – Jimmy’s Jive


Whilst scanning about today searching for something interesting to come into my radar, I stumbled upon this track and instantly loved it.  Jimmy’s Jive is funky soul/r’n’b instrumental track recorded by Jimmy Nolen sometime in the 60’s, but unfortunately it never got officially released until 2011!

Guitarist Jimmy Nolen was best known for his ‘chicken scratch’ guitar playing in James Brown’s bands.  Before he became known as James Brown’s first choice of guitar player, he had already gained a strong reputation as a session playing in LA throughout the 50’s.  Inspired by the likes of T-Bone Walker, B.B. King and Lowell Fulson, Nolan played with James Brown on almost all of his key 1960’s hits and has since been ranked by Mojo magazine as number 12 in “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”

Impressively his sound continues to influence, playing a massive part in hip hop music today with James Brown cuts such as Papas Got a Brand New Bag, I Got You, It’s a Man’s Man’s World, Cold Sweat, Bring it Up, Ain’t it Funky, Funky Drummer and The Boss all having been sampled, mimicked and used by countless producers, DJ’s.

Jimmy’s Jive didn’t make its vinyl debut until 2011 when it appeared as the B-side to The Way You Do.  Listen above.

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SONG OF THE DAY Orchestra Of Spheres – Isness


I’m currently working my way through Nonagonic Now, an album by New Zealand’s vibrant Orchestra Of Spheres.

I don’t know much about the band but intend to discover lots more in the near future.  Emerging from Wellington, New Zealand in 2010, the band consists of Baba Rossa (vocals, biscuit tin guitar), Jemi Hemi Mandala, Mos locos (synth, vocals), Zye Soceles, Tooth, EtonalE (bass carillon, vocals) and Woild Boin (drums).

They have been described as quirky DIY disco pioneers and I love this title because they blend the weird with the wonderful in such a unique way!  Their influences are based on, ( and this quote is from the band in an article I read earlier), “psychedelic primary school disco” to kwaito, free improv, shangaan electro, inner brain clap and funk puppetré”.

Today’s track comes from their 2010 album Nonagonic Now, offering up  a fascinating & eclectic blend of Balinese gamelan, African folk, wah-wah-laden psychedelic freakouts, off-kilter art funk, dance music and general electro-acoustic oddness!

The definition of this Isness is “the ability to live in a world of ‘what is, living in the now.”  This is the title of today’s track and what better way to absorb this little gem of wisdom than through the medium of fantastic and otherworldly music!  Listen above.

Check out the rest of the album and listen to more Orchestra Of Spheres here. 

Posted in afro funk, Afro-psych, Alternative, Electronic, Experimental, Psychedelic, World | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY Three Days Dark – Breaking the Day


Inspired by the sounds of the 60’s and early 70’s, Essex-based singer-songwriter Trent Halliday, aka Three Days Dark, brings alive the sounds of jazz, psych and art-rock in his music.  Having studied a degree in ethnomusicology, Trent is not only influenced by a vast array of different cultural styles, but is also inspired by the music David Bowie, Lou Reed, Can, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock and early Pink Floyd.

Departing from the garage-rock band DeepSeaGreen several years ago, Three Days Dark is now a solo project with new album, Somewhere a Band Plays due for release later this month!  Second single Breaking The Day takes on more of a prog-rock feel compared to the album’s first single and opens gently before rolling drums and crisp cymbals drive the track through undulating and alternating tempos, whilst the funky instrumental mid-section is an upbeat fusion of melodic guitars, jazz trumpet and free-flowing vocals.  Check it out above and listen to more of Trent Halliday’s music on his Soundcloud  and Bandcamp  pages.

Order you copy of Breaking The Day from here (the B-side is worth a listen too!)

Posted in Alt rock, Alternative, Alternative Rock, Experimental, Psych rock | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY Yak – All I Need Is Some Sunshine In My Life.


Early last month Yak shared new single All I Need is Some Sunshine in My Life, a cover of an old 1965 gospel classic by the The Dixie Nightingales’.

This was the trio’s first release on the Maccabbees-afilliated Yala! Records and premiered on Annie Mac’s Hottest Record on Radio 1 last month.  Speaking of the inspiration to do the cover Yak frontman Oli Burslem explained how, “A loved one departed and on the way out sent me this song, so we ended up recording a delirious version in the blistering heat of Perth.”  Comparing the track to the Wendy Rene’s lovely After Laughter, Oli Burslem added, “I love the original Dixie Nightingales’ version, it reminds me of songs like Wendy Rene’s ‘After Laughter’, which I imagined was recorded in the same studio with maybe even the same people playing.”  I really like this..check it out above.

Posted in Alternative, Alternative Rock, cover version | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

SONG OF THE DAY Roger Robinson – Dis Side Ah Town


If Linton Kwesi Johnson and Tricky are your vibe, you may just find today’s offering right up your street!

Roger Robinson is a writer, poet, singer and musician who lives between England and Trinidad.  Often merging the two locations in his sound and creations, he describes himself as “a British resident with a Trini sensibility” and was recently chosen by arts organisation Decibel as one of 50 writers who has influenced black-British writing over the past 50 years!

His art takes on many forms including spoken-word and poetry, but he is also known as a teacher, scholar, thinker and activist and is considered a “serious man with a great sense of humour.”

Dis Side Ah Town is the title track from Roger Robinson’s 2015 album and was recorded using old school samplers, DIY synths, home-made delays, dictaphone’s and even on board computer mics.

As described on his Bandcamp page, the story behind the album goes a little something like this:

One night in 2011 King Midas Sound‘s Roger Robinson returned to Brixton from touring and inadvertently walked into the centre of the London riots. Through the flames and smoke he felt compelled to tell the stories of the people he saw rioting on the street that night.  With disrupt‘s dub soundtrack highlighting the triumphs and tribulations in the lives of the people of Brixton, the album unfolds like a documentary film, extending from the epicentre of the riots and rippling out from there. 

Listen above and check out the rest of the album here. 

Posted in Alternative, dub, Reggae | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment