These releases among others are available to request at wyce.org/request or (616) 742-9923 For a complete list of everything we add visit: grcmc.org/wyce/music/library
Nezi - Pigment of My Imagination
Venezia “Nezi” Jones is a hidden gem in the Kalamazoo music scene. Her album, “Pigment of My Imagination,” showcases her ability to sit comfortably as a singer, lyricist, songwriter, and emcee in the style of artists like Frank Ocean and Noname. Each track speaks to an affirmation in her identity, empowering the listener to join in celebrating what makes us all unique and defined. The album includes guest appearances and production credits from members of the hip hop ensemble Last Gasp Collective, a group of Kalamazoo creatives that she can be seen performing with all over Michigan. I encourage you to ride the wave of vibes this album radiates and soak in the warm harmonies, vulnerable lyricism, and soulful vocal delivery.
Highlight: "Periwinkle" and "Wine"
The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra - Naming and Blaming
While this is only the second release from this 20-piece band, “Naming and Blaming” comes on the back of a decade of The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra playing Afrobeat in Melbourne. Beneath the hypnotic grooves found in each track is a nugget of wisdom, educating and entertaining the listener, much like the group’s main influence, Fela Kuti. Within the lyrics, you’ll hear the group “taking aim at injustices everywhere, from the hypocrisy of contemporary global politics to Australia’s own colonial history.” The group adds their own contemporary twists to the Afrobeat sound by including “conscious hip-hop, Senegalese Wolof, and Mandinka music” throughout the album. POAO invites you into their musical discussion and keeps you hooked with each bit of ear candy they sprinkle into every track.
Highlight: "Fight So Hard"
Jeff Tweedy - Warm
Jeff Tweedy is a household name in American alternative rock, as he is the long-time front-man for the Chicago-based band Wilco. Fans of Tweedy’s songwriting and poetic lyricism are treated to “Warm,” his first solo album of entirely new, original music. As the album name suggests, each track feels like cozying up next to a fireplace and being treated to an intimate concert from Tweedy’s band. The folksy charm in each track encourages the listener to join in the different choruses of emotion, ranging from hopeful to hurt to heartening. Tweedy’s sonic embrace fills the coldness of winter with a warm, welcome home to sit back and stay awhile.
Highlight: "Let’s Go Rain" and "Some Birds"
Jes Kramer - Jes Kramer
Grand Rapids-based multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and one-woman band Jes Kramer stamps her name on this latest release. Each track is weaves synths, toy keyboards, drum loops, and vocals into a sound that mirrors artists like The Postal Service while lyrically expressing stories and observations taken from her experiences as a working, single mother. To emphasize the “solo” aspect of the project, outside of a couple tracks with guest appearances, Kramer wrote, performed, and engineered the entire album. Whether it’s a house concert in Kalamazoo or a slot on WYCE, I encourage you to check out a unique voice in the Grand Rapids music scene and engage with her personable, intimate concerts. Her next show will be on December 28th at Shakespeare’s Lower Level in Kalamazoo.
Highlights: "Between the Covers" and "Wiser"
Tunde Olaniran - Stranger
If you’re looking for some great electro-pop, flavored with hip hop, and produced with the same quality that you’d hear on top 40 radio, then you’re going to love Tunde Olaniran on his second full-length release “Strangers.” After checking out the video for his single “I’m Here,” the colorful, creative presentation of the song reinforced the hooks got stuck in my head. “Stranger” is full of moments that grab your ear and hold on for hours after listening. Beneath the club bangers and vocal hooks, the lyrics speak loudly on topics of inclusion, being vulnerable, empowerment, and being true to your own identity. Collaborating with artists like Flint Eastwood, Chris Bathgate, and Tyler Oakley, Tunde Olaniran is set to continue expressing his artistic self on Michigan’s east side and globally for years to come.
Highlight: "I’m Here" and "Hungry"
New Music Monday is a collaboration with WYCE Staff and Dutcher Snedeker.
These among others are all available for request at wyce.org/request or (616) 742-9923
For a complete list of everything we add visit: grcmc.org/wyce/music/library