The past few months have been incredible in terms of the continued stream of new music. Across all genres, it seems that each week, there are scores of new records to sift through and consume. Of course, as a music lover, I relish the opportunity to listen to the evolution of sound. New artists are continually reinterpreting classic techniques and approaching and interweaving them with their own artistic manifestations. Over the past week, I have personally previewed over 75 separate albums in search of those that I deem worthy of a deeper dive. Time is a limited resource and my hope is that this list will improve your listening experience so you gain an appreciation for some of the best new music being released. With such a flood of options, it can be difficult to find what you love.
Along that path, we have also listened to over 30 singles that were recently released to get a sense of the various flavors that are bubbling up. In the past, we would have expected full length LPs from these artists. However, today, many have opted to attempt a succession of singles, EPs or other non long player projects. As such, we felt it was necessary to peep those releases as well as to provide more thorough insight into those works that we feel deserve your attention this week and beyond.
As is the case with previous editions of #MustListen, this week includes a few albums that were released earlier this year. When we are listening to those LPs that were released through the now conventional channels (e.g. Spotify, Apple, Tidal, etc.), many times I will come upon an incredible piece of music that we feel deserves your attention. Thus, I present my findings for your review and commentary.
The process is simple: I scan our list of inbound releases as well as those from other reliable sources and make a preliminary call on what should be reviewed. From there, I spend a few minutes with each option to get a sense of the production, content and overall feel. This is NOT a full review but more of a #NeedleDrop for a quick assessment. I then rank those LPs and present the top 10 along with a list of honorable mentions that may not have made the cut but may deserve a listen. As mentioned above, I will periodically include a list of notable singles as the release schedule warrants.
This list represents my ranking in order of anticipation based on the initial quick review. My goal is to help soulheads Worldwide break through the clutter of all the music that is being released and focus on the cream of the crop. Each week, I am sure to miss some albums so please let us know if there are projects I missed and I will include them in future weeks.
Like other weeks, I received a number of interesting options in our inbox to preview. Those, combined, with the latest releases on Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, and a large selection of trusted sources, made for a packed week of consideration. This week represents a motley crew of genres that all represent the spectrum of soul music, which is the goal.
We have two large bands from Australia representing in our top 5. I was truly floored by the quality and depth in Baldwins‘ Fear of Flying EP. From start to finish, the interplay between the buttery vocals and instrumentation left me wanting more. In a similar fashion, the Memphis inspired soul of the Teskey Brothers pleasantly surprised me with its sincerity and authenticity. This list also include a number of futuristic sounds like Jamila Woods, who should be required listening for those heading to Afro Punk this year as well as the eclectic next level groove of The Steoples. These cats are doing something really unique and we like it….a lot.
At the same time as these groups are creating something completely new, I was equally excited about Gavin Turek and Dimitris & Sulene and Ms. Irene Renee, all of whom have created very fresh interpretations of classic sounds like disco, bass and contemporary R&B. Finally, in the top 10 list and the Honorable Mentions, I have included a number of hip-hop acts from a variety of styles including hood inspired joints from various locales as well as a couple eclectic selections from those less street oriented. As with most lists going forward, I want to provide a little something for everyone. As recommended above, I urge to you take a listen to our Top 10 as well as our Honorable Mentions and the new list of notable singles we feel you will like.
Check out the list below and feel free to bookmark this article for easy access to the full streams for each in the Top 10 along with links to honorable mentions and singles. Throughout the week, I will be providing compact capsule reviews of the music throughout our social media platforms including our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram outlets. Please subscribe to each to stay in the discussion and let us know which albums and tracks you like the most.