Dead Tooth "Pig Pile"
Dead Tooth‘s music reminds us of if you could compress a packed DIY space into an .mp3 (perhaps a .wav if you’re a snob). Each fuzzy, cigarette stained riff is that sweaty somebody crashing into you, spilling their beer, and then calling you a loser for wearing pastels to the basement show (maybe that only happens to us). While intense, there’s a reason we keep going back to those shows, there’s something beautiful in it’s vulgarity – The same can be said for Dead Tooth. Their new EP Pig Pile offers a downright nefarious collection of tracks. Often reminiscent of garage revivalists like The Spits or Oblivians, the cadre of scruffy Brooklyn dwellers also manage to take detours into art-rock and post-punk. Check out Riverboat if you enjoy monolithic waveforms, and Nightmare America if that story about being called a loser at a punk show resonated with you.
Miles Francis "Good Man"
The full-length debut from Miles Francis, Good Man is a work of gorgeous paradox: a nuanced exploration of masculinity and all its trappings, presented in a sound that’s joyfully unfettered.
Produced by Francis and recorded in their longtime studio (located in the basement of the Greenwich Village building they grew up in), ‘Good Man’ arrives as the most visionary and elaborately realized output yet from a polymathic artist known for collaborating with the likes of Angélique Kidjo, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, and Arcade Fire’s Will Butler. In dreaming up the album’s kaleidoscopic sound, Francis embraced an experimental process that involved elegantly merging their most formative influences.
Throughout ‘Good Man,’ Francis matches their incisive observation with a direct outpouring of feeling and, in many cases, fantastically offbeat humor. On the album’s effervescent lead single “Service,” they deliver a groove-heavy and pitch-perfect send-up of the over-the-top obsequiousness that pervades countless classic boy-band songs (“There’s this very impulsive offering of help and support, in a way that makes you wonder if there’s some other motive that’s not named in the lyrics,” Francis notes).
An album rooted in intense self-reflection, ‘Good Man’ also includes such moments as “Let Me Cry,” a deeply personal number illuminating Francis’s poetic sensibilities as a lyricist (“Indoctrinated against moving his hips/For fear that it could attract another man’s lips”). “As a kid I was really out there and just fully myself, but over time there was this boxing-in that started happening from all different directions,” says Francis. “‘Let Me Cry’ is about asking, ‘Can you break out of this box, and find your way back to that inner child again?’”
Sugaray Rayford "In Too Deep"
A chance meeting in Memphis laid the groundwork for a unique musical partnership between soul-blues powerhouse Sugaray Rayford and producer, songwriter Eric Corne. Combining classic soul melodies with funky R & B grooves, raw blues power, and mashed up with modern sensibilities, the pair’s first collaboration, Somebody Save Me, earned Rayford a 2020 Grammy nomination while later that year he took home Blues Music Awards for ‘Soul Blues Male Artist’ and ‘B.B. King Entertainer of the Year.’
Last summer’s adventurous single “Homemade Disaster” took things further, landing on multiple retro soul and new blues playlists on Spotify, with PopMatters declaring the track “will appeal to fans of Gary Clark Jr. and Chicano Batman.”
Sugaray Rayford returns with In Too Deep. Combining classic soul melodies with funky R&B grooves, raw blues power and mashed up with modern sensibilities, the album takes on issues, such as PTSD, civil rights and social justice. With vibrantly detailed arrangements tailored to showcase Rayford’s deft portrayals and interpretations, In Too Deep is a poignant album that seeks to inspire and uplift.
Just Friends "HELLA"
“The modern musical landscape doesn’t really have a space in which to neatly deposit Just Friends. They’re an eight-piece with dual male and female vocals, bringing in a blend of funk-rock, hip-hop and pop-rock, not only with an angle that feels distinctly synonymous with the DIY scene, but also the pull to have two individual guest appearances from Lil B himself on this very album. This is not a ‘normal’ band on their face, but that’s exactly what’s so intriguing about them when the music on HELLA is this irrepressibly simple. In no way is that meant as any sort of slight either; across a wide variety of tones and instrumental angles, Just Friends have put together a true testament to a ‘less is more’ ethos, with pop hooks for days wrapped in a warmth that can only come from a band having just the best time making music.”