These releases among others are available to request at wyce.org/request or call (616)742-9923 For a complete list of everything we add visit: grcmc.org/wyce/music/library
Avery R. Young – tubman.
Part poet, part educator, part author, part historian, and all parts artistic, interdisciplinary musician, Avery R. Young has made a career of out combining all walks of African American music and cultural history into defining moments of artistic expression around Chicago. A strong presence in the Black Arts Movement, Young’s latest release, tubman., is a means of expressing freedom through the uplifted voices of a huge ensemble of artists, from string and horn sections to full choirs, with even the album art showcasing a group of black women as if to showcase the legacy that Harriet Tubman’s efforts were able to continue. One academic quote that is used to express the intent behind this album is that “Harriet Tubman didn’t run TO freedom. Harriet ran cause she was free ALREADY. She wanted her body to be aligned with what her mind and spirit already KNEW of herself (Dr. Rev. Deac. Bro. A. R-rah).” So celebrate the uplifting movement focusing on Black Arts, steep yourself in the history of so many styles on this record from funk to soul to gospel, and join the chorus of voices raising up future generations on the knowledge and wisdom from the past!
Highlights: "Lil Lillie", "Sit Down Job (Mudda Mary)", "Ms. Lee’s Good Food"
Compilations – This is Mainstream (The Supreme Sound of Producer Bob Shad)
When I see compilations, I tend to see ones that labels put out from legacy artists to make another buck off their roster’s catalog, which is standard business for increasing the longevity of hit records. However, with this compilation, it highlights producer Bob Shad, who is known for owning Time Records, Brent Records, and Mainstream Records, companies that produced artists from Dizzy Gillespie to Dinah Washington to Clifford Brown. The album features a variety of tunes recorded by artists like Sarah Vaughn, Hal Galper, and Jay Berliner from Bob Shad’s Mainstream Records catalog and is the third installment of a series of compilation releases. This is a great recording for any music historian looking to see how the efforts of a past collaborator continues to influence present culture, and Bob Shad’s legacy was so influential that it inspired his grandson, comedian/writer/director Judd Appatow, to revive Mainstream Records in 2017.
Highlights: "Papa’s A Rolling Stone", "Just a Little Lovin", "This Moment"
Haley Reinhart – Lo-Fi Soul
So while apparently the rest of the world knew about Haley Reinhart’s name through her voice acting work on "F Is For Family", her 3rd Place appearance on Season 10 of American Idol, and her collaborations with Postmodern Jukebox and actor Jeff Goldblum, with this latest album, Lo-Fi Soul, Haley chose to express a more playful side of herself that most folks don’t see from her other performances. The album is playful and flirtatious while also laying the ground rules for her “lover” in tracks like “Honey, There’s the Door” or in songs of soulful-laden frustration like “Don’t Know How To Love You.” Haley’s range and keen sense of blending soul, rock, blues, and jazz elements into a strong pop presence is front-and-center, and each track will have you singing along with their infectious hooks!
Highlights: "Honey", "There’s The Door", "Don’t Know How to Love You", "Lo-Fi Soul"
Kate Tempest – The Book Of Traps & Lessons
This is one of my favorite releases of the year, full stop. Now, does that mean it is for everyone? Certainly not, it’s a dark, cathartic deep-dive into examining our world’s current state of affairs, all centering around the human qualities we continue to bury under a sea of technology, politics, and false presentations of our own personal lives via social media and online interactions. While Kate Tempest is known for her hip hop music in addition to spoken word, this album is a through-narrative placing her award-winning poetry talents on full display. Lines like “I’ve seen the lions turn to cubs/And I’ve seen the hunters turn to prey/The lessons will come again tomorrow/If they’re not learned today” speak to our inability to really glean anything as a species from our past mistakes, whether it’s hearing about another oil spill from a pipeline built on protected environmental lands or the political fervor of vehemently rallying behind a cause we’ve only shallow dived into. Kate Tempest speaks to injustices, to the power we have to ruin as much as we have to cultivate, and she doesn’t mince words on the entire record. Each lyrical jab is a knockout punch, a means of really driving home the exhaustion she feels having to articulate so many anxieties in the world. Pair Kate’s phenomenal writing with Rick Rubin’s skillful production of mostly minimalistic, warm backing tracks, and you have an experience that I literally couldn’t pause until I finished listening to it on the drive up to the UP this weekend.
Highlights: "Lessons", "Firesmoke", "People’s Faces"
The Commonheart - Pressure
A soulful force with a singer on a mission to spread feel-good music into the world, Pittsburgh's The Commonheart return with their rock driven soul album Pressure. Clinton Clegg bears his soul on this record with a bluesy, soulful song in his heart and 8 other band members to amplify the messages of redemption and positivity. This album feels like a strong step forward, with more driving riffs, colorful horn arrangements, tasteful backing vocals, and a sound that cannot be ignored. While this band is currently not scheduled to appear in Michigan, with the mission they are on, us Michiganders should hopefully see them on the horizon!
Highlights: "Pressure", "Show Me To the Light", "Different Man"
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 call (616) 742-9923 For a complete list of everything we add visit: grcmc.org/wyce/music/library