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
Jazzmeia Horn – Love & Liberation
When listening to jazz vocalists, there is an understated skill to how they effortlessly glide over notes in verses and choruses. There is a special cadence to their sound, a finely tuned amplifier for their confidence and years of steeping their studies in the iconic jazz vocal catalogs of artists like Ella Fitzgerald or Billie Holliday. Jazzmeia Horn has created a strong vocal identity around her music, from first being introduced to Sarah Vaughn in high school at the iconic Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts to winning the 2015 Thelonius Monk International Vocal Jazz Competition. With the release of Love & Liberation, listeners are treated to a collection of new tunes on the back of a stacked touring schedule on the back of her Grammy nominated debut, A Social Call. What is notable on this record is that among the many new original works, Jazzmeia chose to cover an empowering rendition of “No More” by Jon Hendricks (quoted saying that "Jazzmeia has one of the best voices I've heard in over 40 years"), “Green Eyes” by Erykah Badu (grounded in a spiritual centering in her delivery), Rachel Farrell’s “Reflection of My Heart” (featuring vocal interactions between drummer/singer Jamison Ross), and the classic VanHeusen/Mercer tune “I Thought of You.” The original tunes range from topics about disconnecting from digital media and focusing on human interaction to intelligent songs of the many nuances of love and relationships one has to navigate. Jazzmeia’s vocal control is front and center, playing around with time, feel, and lyrics to create a captivating album. In a world where jazz often feels pushed to the fringes, albums like Jazzmeia Horn’s new release can educate, articulate, and inspire young artists to continue studying and honing the many varieties within the genre.
Highlights: "Out The Window", "Green Eyes", "Reflections Of My Heart (ft. Jamison Ross)", "Free Your Mind"
Marika Hackman – Any Human Friend
As the title suggests, this album deals with the complex emotions around being alone and searching for love, but with the added layering of being gender queer. This album doesn’t play like a frustrated lamenting of the human race, but rather an album that musically accompanies the roller coaster of thoughts that come with loneliness, love, and sexual desire. One moment, Marika is content to be with herself, and the next she is playfully asking for sex, all-the-while fluidly moving through rock, lo-fi, and synth-laden textures. The catchiest number by far is “Blow,” a track that sinks its hooks into you with the repetitive chorus statements and infectious guitars and drums. Each tune is expertly co-produced between Marika and David Wrench (Frank Ocean, David Byrne, Glass Animals) to feel like strong roots of an artistic idea with many branches. Come for the indie rock/synth pop flavors, stay for the often punctuated lyricism of Marika’s takes on sexual identity.
Highlights: "Blow", "Wanderlust", "I’m Not Where You Are"
The Teskey Brothers – Run Home Slow
The Motown sound may be synonymous with Detroit, but it’s influencing songwriting and performing styles are continuing to inspire new generations of artists. The Teskey Brothers, an Australian 4-piece, made their soulful debut in 2017 with performances in LA, New York, and London that rolled right into tracking and releasing their debut album, Half Mile Harvest. Now, with the release of Run Home Slow, the group continues to build on solid vocal harmonies, infectious rhythmic grooves, and choruses that will have you moving to some great melodies. The hand claps and foot stomps, paired with vocal harmonies, on the track “Hold Me” showcases the band’s rhythmic chops, whereas songs like “Paint My Heart” are lush arrangements that really boost the emotional impact of singer Josh Teskey’s smokey, soaring vocals. All in all, this album proves that this band is deserving of their busy touring schedule around the globe, and Run Home Slow is an album that warrants a vinyl copy and a free afternoon of renewing your spirit with their soulful sounds.
Highlights: "Hold Me", "So Caught Up", "Paint My Heat"
The Flaming Lips – Kings Mouth: Music & Songs
Returning with a followup to their 2017 album, Oczy Mlody, their new album, Kings Mouth: Music & Songs, shows a collaboration between The Flaming Lips and Mick Jones (The Clash) around a conceptual, multi-medium artistic realization of a story crafted by singer Wayne Coyne. The work chronicles an art installation of the same name that will later be paired with a book, Kings Mouth: Immerse Head Trip Fantasy Experience, all written, directed, and illustrated by Wayne Coyne as well. Mick Jones provides narration within the album, and each tune is crafted with a very specific palette of drum sounds, synthesizers, effected vocals, and orchestrated strings, winds, and horn sounds. The Kings Mouth visual experience involves crawling into a giant head to absorb a light show within an immersive sound installation, and after sinking into this album as a listener, it definitely motivates me to try and experience the full installation. I encourage you to engage your senses with all of the pieces of this large work, rarely does a singular artist realize so many aspects of an artistic vision.
Highlights: 'The Sparrow", "Giant Baby", "Mouth of the King", "How Can a Head" (all featuring Mick Jones aside from “The Sparrow”)
Kristy Kruger – Fever Of Unknown Origin
Born out of the loss of her brother Eric, Kristy Kruger expresses a variety of songs dealing with grief and loss in her new record, Fever of Unknown Origin. Named after shared symptoms that her military veteran father had (shaking fits, sweating, and fever) Kristy chose a collection of American song styles that were explored after her brother’s passing, inspired by his military service and a desire to preserve unique, American music styles. The track “Goodbye Brother,” was written in the two weeks waiting for her brother’s funeral after an IED killed him during his first day of service in Iraq. It’s a tune meant to celebrate his life, rather than succumb to the sadness surrounding his tragic circumstances. Weaving together styles inspired by artists like Bessie Smith, Tom Waits, and Emmylou Harris, Kristy Kruger’s brand of Americana is born from painful experiences and sharpened through long hours of touring, traveling, and writing. If you are a fan of Olivia Mainville & The Aquatic Troupe or Jack & The Bear in the Michigan music circuit, this album is right up your alley.
Highlights: "Goodbye Brother", "Folsom Prison Blues", "Home Is Everywhere I Roam"
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