First, I’d like to have a disclaimer that this is my first “music” post since 2017, which is frightful and embarrassing. There has been a flood of great music that I missed writing about. I won’t be able to catch up, unfortunately. We are just going to start now — and enter the present moment. Hope you understand. xoxo – H
Her name is Mikaela Straus. Her essence is King Princess. This Brooklyn-based goddess entered the scene with single “1950,” and has spiraled up into queer stardom now working with Mark Ronson. (If you’d like more intel, Spotify has a really great bio that you are not going to read here, but here.) I’m impressed mostly with her vocals and her attitude of self-producing. She seems to have grown up in a recording studio by result of her parents being recording artists.
After absorbing more of King Princess, I have come to the conclusion that she’s full of herself — to which I think, as opposed to what?What else should she be full of? She ought to be full of herself. We all should be full of ourselves. And this is the magic of KP. Her fullness is not “conceited,” her fullness is focused. She’s focused on being exactly who she is on every level and sharing that with us as listeners. It’s brave and heart-felt. Musically smart, and, just wow. So I’m obsessed.
If you’re not already listening to her, my top 2 starter songs are “Talia” and “Holy.”
September is about new beginnings. Listen to KP for a new beginning in self-love and self-expression. Be unafraid of who you are.
This first video below is King Princess talking with other people about who they truly are, too. (I love this.) And Mikaela, if you read this, can we be friends, like right now?! I’m rooting for you. ❤
Amber Mark, a young artist based in New York, takes influence from the many places she grew up in as a child, fusing tribal with soul, pop, and R&B to make something entirely unique. Her style is singular and fresh; we highly suggest listening for yourself. –>
Jojo Abot is a Ghanian artist tagging herself as afro-hypno-sonic. She reigns from New York and couldn’t be more mesmerizing and impressive with her ingenuity of sound and style. Take a listen for yourself–>
One studio album that stood out to us this year was We Are KING, the debut full-length album that emerged from Minneapolis and LA based group KING.
Nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Artist, this all soul, all female group, has launched itself into the same category as Rihanna and Beyoncé. Two twin sisters, Paris and Amber Strother, and long-time friend Anita Bias, make up the dreamsicle pop-like trio who gathered much of their musical prowess and influence from Prince, which shouldn’t come as a surprise once you hear their music.
It was a tough year, they mentioned at their New Year’s Eve show at the Fine Line Music Café in Minneapolis on December 31st, 2016. To lose Prince wasn’t easy when he had been their mentor. They continued to say how Prince’s encouragement to continue writing their music their way was what got them to a grammy nomination. He guaranteed that we would be nominated if we kept doing what we were doing and sure enough we did.
At the New Year’s show I found myself among an intimate crowd of friends and family, and the vibe couldn’t have been more ethereal or surreal. The warm spiritual sounds of synth-pop rose from the stage like tropical vapor. There was so much freshness, vitality, authenticity, and groove in the music. I lost track of time and danced slowly, swaying, child-like. Congratulations to KING for already making beautiful music and for creating a beautiful beginning for their artistry to soar into our ears.
This is pure golden liquid ecstasy, and really, valuable to every part of our musical bodies. Mmmm. Abel’s voice mixed with funk royalty couldn’t be a better, stronger, collaboration. This song is arguably the best song of the year, and one to say (dance) goodbye to 2016. We will be playing it all December. As always, enjoy & repeat.
This August the album to feature is Coming Home by Leon Bridges.
Released just this summer, Coming Home is Bridge’s first full-length release. He hails from the great state of Texas, where he got his start singing soul and gospel music. His retro sound takes you back to the swingin’ age of honest love songs.
His first single release is “Coming Home” which showcases his soft and full voice, romancing you with every beat of percussion and every lyrics of “I need you baby. . .” His songs have a juicy blend of skilled instrumentals intertwined with his groovy vocals.
Our favorite track on the album is “Smooth Sailin” with lyrics like “honey, I won’t wear you down . . .” Bridges assures he likes the way you sail your ship down. See his performance at SXSW 2015 in Texas below. We can’t wait to see where he takes his music next.
It is with great pleasure that we announce this month’s featured album to blast as Strangers by RAC.
Technically known as Remix Artist Collective, this is the solo-project of a man named André Allen Anjos, originally from Portugal. He works diligently to reinvent artists’ songs for a distinct and fresh sound. He has done a number of quality remixes in his lengthy career with production, sound engineering and the music business. Strangers, however, is the his first full-length album – a product of collaborative genius.
It is perfect timing that this release came in the spring, just as we are itching our legs to stretch, move and dance again as the sun comes out from it’s winter barracks. Featuring artists like Tegan & Sara, Penguin Prison, Tokyo Police Club, Alex Ebert, Karl Kling, Kele & MNDR, the whole album is rich with fresh voices and packed with dance pop.
With lyrics like “we all know you’re made of plastic, you might seem like something classic, but your cheap sunglasses. . . I see right through you,” it has a flair of punk within it’s groovy boogie summer feel.
Our favorite single . . .
This artist is definitely one to notice, given that his work has permeated the airstreams under the radar for so long. Now do him justice by jamming to each track for the rest of May and see how much more joy you’ll have.