Emily Millard, formerly Miss Emily Brown, sheds her earlier moniker in favor of her real name — which may signal what’s to come around the bend on her upcoming LP release By Heron & By Season. The new record is being produced by an ultra-talented musician in his own right, Sandro Perri. This will be Millard’s first record since 2010’s elegant In Technicolor, an album about the beauty of our past. She had been creating music as Morlove, with a range of usual suspects like multi-instrumentalist Corwin Fox and friend and violinist extraordinaire Hannah Epperson. Millard’s first single, “Paradise”, is streaming via bandcamp, but you can also listen to it in a live video below. The video was captured in Brooklyn by Derrick Belcham and features Giancarlo Vulcano on guitar. You can follow Millard at facebook and twitter. Note: Photo above is from the artist’s facebook page and was taken by Kendell Green. — David D. Robbins Jr.
Poliça’s debut record Give You the Ghost (2012) began uniquely, with lush lounge and experimental electronic music best heard through songs like “I See My Mother” and “Lay Your Cards Out” — exquisite lead singer Channy Leaneagh tinkering with the pitch of her vocals. Sure, we’ve heard other musicians shift pitch to varying effect. But this was something different. The Minneapolis singer seemed less concerned about covering up an inadequacy than overcoming a kind of charming shyness and an artistic need to test the concept of what moves listeners, physically and consciously. Leaneagh created a musical world where the purely emotive (musical elision, beat, soundscape, feeling, mood) meant just as much as the concrete (lyrics, narrative). She overlapped, stretched and distorted her vocals, resulting in an echoed, drawled and doubled back sound — giving the feeling her verses were in a quest unto themselves, searching for essence, force and flame. It enhanced her sultry sound and extended the meaning behind phrases like this one from “I See My Mother”: “Oh, what a web I have woven myself in / I’m always chasing after somebody else.”
Baltimore rapper Tate Kobang is streaming an addictive, hypnotic track called “Oh My”. The most impressive quality of the song is the triple-threat combination of inventive beats, a loop of a squawking noise, and a tin, soft and sinister percussion. The lyrics are more typical, about sexual conquest. But Tate Kobang does find times to stutter-stop and change up his rap cadence. There’s a kind of dirty South sound to it, long sentences rapped without a break for breath — in a way not dissimilar from Vince Staples. Follow Tate Kobang at facebook and twitter. — David D. Robbins Jr.
Stunning. I’ve been listening to Charlotte Day Wilson’s song “After All” for weeks now and its initial impression still hasn’t worn off. The song is a throwback to the gentle soulful style of a musician like Sade and Jessie Ware, with its heartbeat bass, jazzy accents, bright keyboard notes and lush vocal harmonies. (With a touch of indie lounge.) The Toronto-native’s facebook page mentions an EP set for release sometime this year. Can’t wait. You can follow Day Wilson on facebook, twitter and at soundcloud. — David D. Robbins Jr.
Massive Attack and Tricky. Two things that go together better than bread and butter. Massive Attack announced it’s releasing it’s first new music since 2010’s Heligoland. The new EP is called Ritual Spirit, which will feature four tracks and collaborations with Young Fathers, Roots Manuva, Azekel and Tricky. The latter can be heard singing on the band’s single release, “Take It There”, which also has an accompanying video you can watch and listen to below. The video stars actor John Hawkes of 2010’s “Winter’s Bone”. It’s a dark track with heavy, ominous keyboard, and overlapping lyricism from a venomous Tricky and Robert Del Naja. Follow Massive Attack on twitter and facebook. — David D. Robbins Jr.
A rule-breaking rock star. Brixton’s native boy. The glam girl of Ziggy Stardust. The Thin White Duke. Fame-craver and shy Davey Jones. The Man Who Fell to Earth. Space drifter. Major Tom. Prince of Spiders. Cocaine cowboy of a-lad-insane. Blue Jean. The Goblin King. An old-fashioned gentleman. An art connoisseur. Actor. (As he credits himself on the record Hunky Dory.) The first white performer to play the show Soul Train. A conceptual chameleon who had a gift for fusing and adapting a multitude of musical styles and fashion (kabuki, Andy Warhol) — the latter a way to perhaps ease stage fright. Ultimately, David Bowie was a true thinking artist. He grew up on Fats Domino and Little Richard, musicals, admired Lou Reed, Iggy Pop & The Stooges, musician Vince Taylor, Japanese director Nagisa Oshima, Brian Eno, writers William Burroughs, Mishima, and Nabokov and later grew to champion or promote other artists as varied as Luther Vandross, Trent Reznor, Bing Crosby, bassist Meshell Ndegeocello, actresses Tilda Swinton, Marion Cotillard, Moby and Arcade Fire.