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New Music Radar

New Music Radar for November 1st, 2023

Little Bird – “SP ACE”

Charleston-based psych-rock band Little Bird dropped a new track, “SP ACE,” today. It’s woozy with fuzz and feedback, and singer Jay Hurtt’s voice is low and gravely. “I need a little space / Some time to get away,” he sings, placidly enough, and then repeats with a little urgency, “I need some fucking space.” The song, in classic Little Bird fashion, is trippy, but more metallic than ethereal, with lots of big guitar and bold drums. The tinkle of a xylophone towards the end adds lightness, but “SP ACE” is still thoroughly a rock n’ roll track. 

According to the press release, Little Bird’s new record, SWEET HAPPY LIFE is scheduled for an indefinite rolling release for ETERNITY on the band’s own label Mega Hot Records.

Contributed by Kate Bryan

“SP ACE” on Spotify

Ben Beam – raps & things

Charleston City Paper ‘Producer of the Year’ nominee Ben Beam’s new album raps & things is a true testament to his versatility as a producer, engineer, and songwriter. The fact that he fully self-produced and engineered the album is a remarkable feat in itself. With an all-star cast of features, the album fuses various pockets of high-level lyricism with a collection of 10 hand-woven, classic hip-hop instrumentals that are sure to be cherished by the crate diggers of hip hop. Ben’s impressive lineup of featured artists is made up of several artists that performed and co-hosted events under Ben Beam’s Charleston Underground umbrella. They include: Chemi$t and MosStef of UnHeard, MoonKatDaddi, Toni Ester of Columbia, SC, Righteous Rel, a surprise appearance by videographer and visual media director Tony Martin aka TonyShotMe, and yours truly (Indi’Gxld). Amidst his production and feature list, Ben Beam’s own lyrical prowess shines through, proving that he is a master of many hats in the world of Charleston hip-hop. 

On The Playlist: “All In Your Head” featuring Toni Esther

Contributed by Thaddeus Adams

raps & things on Spotify

Baby Yaga – “Pretty Boy”

The unapologetic 90s-inspired alt-punk group Baby Yaga unleashed their newest single “Pretty Boy” on Halloween and gave us all a spooky surprise as it’s been exactly a year since they’ve released any music. “Pretty Boy” was recorded with Charleston’s Wolfgang Zimmerman and exudes a gritty confidence and truthful lyricism by Presley Randall with a silly yet unyielding cynicism towards the single’s subject– an ex-love interest who is a self-proclaimed f*ck boy.  Randall has always had the natural ability to remain unbothered by expectations of delicately phrasing what she has to say and always delivers exactly what she wants to purge without the understated fluff to preserve anyone’s feelings, and it’s invigorating. 

Contributed by Sarah Grace Sherbondy

“Pretty Boy” on Spotify

Duplex – “Supernova”

Duplex’s debut single “Supernova” premiered on Extra Chill on Friday. The group consists of four Charleston locals who work in the music and food & beverage scenes of the city. “Supernova” mixes the carefree attitudes of 2000s rock groups like The Strokes with elements of modern emo and surf rock, and it works. See the interview and premiere for more info.

Contributed by Chris Huber

“Supernova” on Spotify

Kat Hammond – “Parking Ticket”

Kat Hammond, frontwoman of Columbia, SC-based rock band Charlie Boy, released a new single, “Parking Ticket,” as a solo artist last month. The song is an examination of an old love. Hammond’s vocals are moody, both soft and grungey in a sort of downcast, shoegaze-y way. A simple guitar riff reverberates against gentle drums as she spirals over the usual questions: “I wonder what you’re doing now / Did you find someone else / Someone to give you what you need,” posed with a mournful earnesty that seems to acknowledge her own contribution to the decay of the relationship. At the close of the track a bigger, grittier guitar sound dials up the angst. “Parking Ticket” hits where it hurts, but in a way that makes you want to play it again.

Contributed by Kate Bryan

“Parking Ticket” on Spotify

Future Islands – “The Tower”

Maryland-based synth-pop group Future Islands released a new single, “The Tower,” last week. The track is carried by the band’s signature deep bass and a quick beat, creating a feeling of forward momentum that is mirrored in the lyrics. Samuel T. Herring plays with dark yet tender imagery, singing ““The boy who played with razors / Met a girl who opened cages / All the birds flew / Through the graveyard / And their laughter / Was contagious.” The track isn’t quite as experimental as past Future Islands songs, but it still carries a bit of whimsy in its approachability. “The Tower” feels like a meditation on overcoming something, presenting a sense of, if not quite triumph, at least resilience.

Contributed by Kate Bryan

“The Tower” on Spotify

GxldApproved: Georgia Nubia – #Unpacking

Introducing the ‘the creation, the creator’, Georgia Nubia, who wears multiple creative hats as an author, poet, and visual artist. Her latest endeavor includes the release of an audio album of poetry and spoken word, complementing her most recent published poetry collection titled “Unpacking.” Georgia Nubia’s words possess an all-encompassing power, sweeping through your senses from head to toe with their rhythmic waves, giving you feels of Marsha Ambrosia and Jill Scott. “Unpacking” marks her fourth poetic publication, and through the immersive experience of listening, it becomes evident that this collection represents the unfiltered essence of Georgia Nubia’s thoughts, emotions, yearnings, and intimate moments. Her poetry, sensuous, direct, and evocative, serves as a gateway for listeners to delve into the depths of her creative mind. Collaborating with Sevan Beats on production, Georgia paints vivid pictures, ranging from provocative musings to explorations of black liberation. This artistic masterpiece is a testament to her boundless talent and passion.

On The Playlist: “More Than”

Contributed by Thaddeus Adams

#Unpacking on Spotify

Mel Washington – “Mad Love”

“Mad Love” by Charleston’s Mel Washington is his first single release since 2021, and it marks an evolution in his sound that is much different from anything I’ve heard from his solo work in the past. While most of his other music could be described as singer-songwriter or country, “Mad Love” is tinted with electronica and and has a more industrial feel. If this is indicative of a future direction for the songwriter, I’m all ears. The track comes from Mel’s upcoming LP Feast or Famine, which drops this Friday November 3rd, with a hometown celebration at The Royal American with Tom Mackell and Grayson Little.

Contributed by Chris Huber

“Mad Love” on Spotify

Sun Child – “Ghost” 

Sun Child, the dreamy folk band from Jacksonville Beach just released the strikingly spooky single “Ghost” on Halloween, after releasing the Everything EP earlier this year. Sun Child is the product of ex-Charlestonian Brooke Garwood’s latest project and has exponentially grown in only a short amount of time. “Ghost” is a five-minute ruminative ballad that flawlessly digs into the introspective pain of losing someone who was close to you and the grief that follows once they leave. “You were there by my side/ now you don’t even say hi” registers with those lucky (or unlucky) enough to experience the side of a breakup that is still coming to terms with the absence of that other person and the shock that ricochets in the process. Garwood isn’t afraid to cast the spotlight on her bare emotion that is hauntingly inviting in every crevice of lyricism. Enhanced by suspenseful piano and a chilling violin section that rises to a crescendo and halts the single to a mysterious close, I would categorize “Ghost” as a track that has the potential to be featured in a series like Bridgerton

Contributed by Sarah Grace Sherbondy

“Ghost” on Spotify

#GxldApproved: $ara Lee – “Hurricane”

Charleston bred artist $ara Lee, formerly Aye Trx of Drinkfirstt presents his latest solo release, aptly titled “Hurricane,” which delves into the themes of overcoming storms of pain and embracing the transformative power of love, life, and relationships in all their forms-even if you have to go numb at times. The name itself perfectly captures the tumultuous journey of navigating these emotions and challenges while striving for inner peace and personal growth. I’m impressed by $ara Lee’s approach to this profound and relatable topic is commendable, as he combines emotionally charged slow trap melodies with thoughtful lyrics that resonate with listeners from all walks of life.

Contributed by Thaddeus Adams

“Hurricane” on Spotify

WOAH – “In Your Eyes”

The nostalgic and dream-pop-oriented group WOAH from Charlotte released a new single “In Your Eyes” on Monday. The four-piece was formed in 2019 and impressively already has an extensive discography and a solid online presence, as I did discover these guys on TikTok. “In Your Eyes” sets the tone for a coming-of-age film with synths that mimic all the great parts of 80s music, built on top of an alternative base that’s similar to distinguished artists in the genre like Dayglow and Beach Fossils. WOAH’s unconventional sound separates them from others with their captivatingly euphoric blasé approach and airy vocals. I’m intrigued to see how this group is able to transfer their gripping social media presence to a live stage as they expand their fanbase. 

Contributed by Sarah Grace Sherbondy

“In Your Eyes” on Spotify

#GxldApproved: HezzyDaKidd feat Ace Da Kidd & Street Runner Phresh – “I Been The Shhh”

Charleston artist, HezzyDaKidd recently released “I Been Da Shhhh” featuring Ace Da Kid and honoring the late rap artist, Street Runner Phresh. I’m sure you recognize the instrumental as the classic “Clique” by Kanye West featuring Big Sean and Jay-Z, which has been remixed countless times over the years. However, you’ve never heard it with the power and pressure of authentic Charleston rooted rap. Legendary Street Runner Phresh hits the beat like a ball from a cannon and sends a message to the industry and all opposition. HezzyDaKidd slides on the track with a high-fire, relentless flow warning all competitors to stay in their lane or reap what they sow. Closing the track is Ace Da Kid with a high geared, machine gun flow to cap off the freestyle. Powerful ode to the late Street Runner Phresh, as all three artists really displayed what makes them top of the food chain in underground Charleston hip-hop.

Contributed by Thaddeus Adams

“I Been Da Shh” on Spotify

Dizgo – “Rainbow Lightning”

Up-and-coming jam band Dizgo dropped their second-ever single last week, “Rainbow Lightning.” An upbeat funky groove that the group has been performing on the road for at least a year, the track captures the electronic psychedelic force of a band that should be on the radar for anybody who loves the two-set improvisational format. According to a recent IG post, “Rainbow Lightning” was inspired by a memory from Secret Dreams 2022, where torrential downpours cleared to reveal a rainbow, which was then cracked open by lightning. Seen them live twice now and will go again.

Contributed by Chris Huber

“Rainbow Lightning” on Spotify

Wilderado – “In Between” ft. Matt Berninger

Folk rock group Wilderado has been majorly on the rise this year, with slots on festivals all over the place and opening gigs for My Morning Jacket this past summer. Now they’ve got a feature from a verifiable indie rock legend, Matt Berninger of the National under their belts, in the form of an alternate version of their recent single “In Between.” The new recording trades a bit of the guitar twang of Wilderado for the National’s moody brooding, which gives it a bit of a darker feel. It’s a solid crossover episode but I can’t help but wish they just recorded something new. It still makes the playlist, because I like both bands, and I like the song, but a unique song or even a co-write would have been much cooler. Maybe in the future, since according to the Line of Best Fit this was a spontaneous collab.

Contributed by Chris Huber

“In Between” on Spotify