@@@ H.E.R.: I Can’t Breathe (RCA/Sony, 2020) I saw this protest song mentioned on the Root’s daily email. It’s a slow jam heavy on beats and retro soul drama. The hand drumming reminds me of classic Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. The string arrangement in the chorus is super stylish — there are some really pretty flourishes here without the tune collapsing into over drama. H.E.R.’s rolling delivery that doesn’t pause adds a subtle urgency to the track. This is really well done — the lyrics focus on recent events. There is a raw ass mostly spoken word/a little rapped section that really ups the impact of the track. Ignorant, privileged eyes, no you didn’t say that ’bout white folks!! Yes she did. Excellent job in not holding back on the sentiment — no dilution and the anger combined with the sounds is very powerful.
@@@ Deathnoisefrequency: Chapter III: The Mortician’s Lamenting Dirge ( 2020) I saw this noise duo from Saudi Arabia mentioned on an indie blog called Indiepulse. I can only imagine how fertile the parched fascist earth of Saudi Arabia is for resistance/noisy fuck you types of music. There is quite a bit of censorship in Saudi Arabia so it might even be dangerous to make this kind of music there. BTW, fuck that MBS bitch ass who runs Saudi Arabia. This comes out with a collection of noisy ass sounds layered — banging power chords, some exhaling voice sounds, cycling feedback and a generally dark and aggro feel. Here’s a singer, old school and spoken word-y, he’s got a bit of the dark wizard Lord of the Rings incantation shit to him. It spends most of its time chugging along as an old school Sabbath/Danzig flavored thing. He changes it up and outright sings more after he comes in. The drummer is sporting a hard rock sound and playing approach. It’s pleasantly retro but I was hoping for a more distinctly noisy show.
@@@ Philip Michael Scales: Find a Way (The Company You Keep, 2020) I got to this track via a music publicist in the Midwest. It’s a retro soul/rock sound with a firm beat, active hi hats and sweet singing over at least two guitar tracks. Apple Music has this as indie pop which isn’t really correct, it’s soul rock. I like Scales’ voice and the lyrics focus on overcoming personal internal adversity and finding a way forward. His voice is my favorite component of the tune and I could have used some more varied drumming.
@@@ Kush Jones: Earth Note (Future Times, 2020) Saw this techno artist namechecked on the Twatter! Me love the Twatter. Stuck with GooglePimp! It’s a classic techno dancefloor banger but with world music flavors in additional to classic techno unt-sss. A lot of layers of simple rhythms here — splashing hats, four on the floor, the stop and go bass with synth puffs and string patches. You get a nice, pretty epic keyboard solo and the energy here is firm and fresh. High quality sounds professionally put together.
YTD recordings listened to: 464
Good music, not list worthy: 236
Not good music: 205
Honorable Mentions: 0
Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos, schroothoop, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood, Pole