James Levy "Somebody"
Hot off the heels of producing the final two singles from the late, great Charles Bradley-NY musician, producer James Levy is back to his own sounds with the release of Somebody. Oh wait, did I say NY musician? That’s not exactly true anymore, as is evidenced by “NYC,” the excellent first song on this album. See, that song is a breakup song. In fact, the whole thing is a breakup album. But who is James breaking up with? Why NY of course! He’s up and relocated to Nashville. It makes sense then that this album teeters between a NY singer/songwriter sound and a Nashville roost/americana rock sound (and seeing as how its produced by ex-Avett Brother James Defiglia-that totally makes sense). So check out what Rolling Stone Country called “one of the 10 Best Country and Americana Songs To Hear Now” and check out the aforementioned “NYC.”
TRØN & DVD "Manhunt (Kiam)"
The brothers Van Dunk are back! You probably know them better as TRØN and DVD, and get ready to get to know them even better than that on the follow-up to their full-length debut. Manhunt (Kiam) finds their skills stronger than ever, furthering the themes they toyed with on 2017’s Afraid Of The Dark, but with an angry maturity that I guess everyone has been experiencing over the last few years. Their rhymes are as strong as ever, their beats even more blistering than ever before. And if you can be judged by the company you keep, then get ready to be impressed with this lineup of guests! Labelmates Jennifer O’Connor and Amy Benunartea, as well as Coheed and Cambria’s Travis Stever, underground rapper SB The Moor, and others. Oh, and also REDMAN!!! Yeah, I saved the best for last. Check out the 1st single from the album, “Me Time.”
Sequoyah Murray "Before You Begin (Thrill Jockey)"
At the ripe young age of 22, Sequoyah Murray’s full-length debut Before You Begin (Thrill Jockey) is as singular a musical statement as I’ve ever heard. A mixture of R&B, electronica, gospel, African polyrhythmic music, Tropicália, psychedelic music, modern hip-hop and trap, jazz, and everything else an amazing record collection should include-this is truly a journey through the future of music. Consisting of sounds played and made almost entirely by Sequoyah, be it via instrument or with his THREE-OCTAVE RANGE VOICE… yeah, I said it. I mean it too, his voice is a wonder. This is normally the part of the blurb where I try to come up with a sound-alike comparison. A shorthand to give you an idea of what this record sounds like. But… man is it tough in this instance. The closest I can get? George Michael covering Bjork. Does that actually work? Well, you tell me and check out the stunning, otherworldly “Penalties Of Love.”
Scoville Unit "Scoville Unit (Ernest Jenning Record Co.)"
If you have room in your heart for at least one more guitar-based, pop-punk/indie rock record full of real emotions, harmonies, and hooks, then make that record the latest (and greatest) record from Scoville Unit. Their new self-titled LP was written in secret by Gandhar Savur (but with guidance and advice from Cigarettes After Sex’s Greg Gonzales), recorded by the band, and then mastered at Abbey Road. The result is decidedly out of time for 2019, but maybe that’s why it stands out the way it does? This is clearly a personal record… no. I don’t mean like a diary (but personal record would be a funny way to describe a diary) I mean that this is obviously some from the heart songwriting. Jangly, punky, poppy, and nostalgic, this record is sure to have a little something for everybody. Fall under Scoville Unit’s spell and check out “Weight Of Misunderstanding.”