Hey, listen to this!
Lots of flavor from around the world in this edition. Burna Boy, Amber Figueroa, Mammut, Transglobal Underground, Nihiloxica, and Ana Tijoux all bringing a broad array of sounds this time around. It’s also hard to ignore Sault right now. I still don’t know much in terms of who and how many are in Sault, but whatever. They have been making serious waves since last year. They’ve released 3 full albums in a year and a half-ish, and it’s all top notch. The song I chose to include this edition, “Bow”, also features Michael Kiwanuka and is probably the most boldly African-influenced we’ve heard from them.
I need to make clear that Gabriel Teodros has made one of the best albums of the year. Teodros has always had his messaging clear, and finally it seems our culture is hitting on some of the same touchstones. “If They Come For Me In The Morning…” has been ringing in my head since I first heard the song, and the rest of this excellent record, What We Leave Behind, has followed suit. I can’t get enough of this one. Also, starting tomorrow (July 27th, 2020), Gabriel will be hosting an early morning radio show every weekday from 5-7AM Pacific Time on KEXP, so give it a listen because he’s making some good noise.
In the past on this blog, I haven’t often included big pop albums. Sometimes though, an album or artist just can’t be ignored. Beyonce or Kendrick Lamar, for example, become cultural touchstones that are more universal than a typical summer jam. I don’t think I would have expected to include Taylor Swift here, but her surprise album, folklore, has hit in that way. This song, “peace”, has struck me, in particular, and I definitely recommend the album.
Particular favorite of mine in this list are Gabriel Teodros, Hum, Black Ends, and Burna Boy. Also, really loving the new Tunde Adebimpe single, and I’ll include it once it’s available to stream.
Open Mike Eagle – Neighborhood Protection Spell
Aisha Fukushima – Pandemic
Gabriel Teodros – What You Leave Behind
Sault, Michael Kiwanuka – Bow
Black Ends – Stay Evil
Transglobal Underground – The People Carrier
Ana Tijoux, PJ Sin Suela – Pa Que
Haim – All That Ever Mattered
Burna Boy – Wonderful
Amber Figueroa – Mi Fuego
Taylor Swift – peace
Pacific Range – Santa Monica (Through the Canyon)
Mammut – Sun and Me
Hum – Waves
Dope Walker – Shakes
Nihiloxica – Tewali Sukali