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New Music Radar

New Music Radar for January 10th, 2024

Added by Kate Bryan

Marlon Williams –  “After the Revolution” 

New Zealand-born crooner Marlon Williams released a cover of Bill Fay Group’s “After the Revolution” last week. Not only does it showcase Williams’ endlessly gorgeous vocal stylings, but it also brings attention to Bill Fay, a musician who remains criminally underlooked. Williams’ rendition is a more mournful, somewhat uncanny piano ballad compared to Fay’s rugged, guitar-driven original, but both tracks offer the same timeless commentary on war and killing (“When my gun was still smokin’ / I bent over the mad I’d shot”), guilt and death. “After the Revolution” is a return to soul-wrenching vibrato for Williams after a string of more pop-driven singles.

The Lemon Twigs – “My Golden Years”

The Lemon Twigs, a band of two brothers that delivers nostalgia-baked power pop, kicked off the year with a fresh single, “My Golden Years.” The track pays homage to 60s/70s easy rock and just feels good, with cinematic guitar riffs, charming melodies, and bubbly, sing-along harmonies. Lyrically, the song is just as sweet, waxing poetic about living in the moment and relishing the good things while they last. The Lemon Twigs certainly aren’t experimenting with new forms or ideas here, but there’s something to be said for the genius of crafting a cinematic, sentimental tune that delights in its references but doesn’t drift fully into parody. It’s hard to be mad that something isn’t radical when it’s so damn listenable. 

Katy Kirby – “Hand to Hand”

New York-based singer songwriter Katy Kirby dropped a textured, sensual new song, “Hand to Hand,” last week. It’s the latest in a string of new releases from the artist. Not afraid to fly up and down the register, Kirby’s vocals journey from high to low, making a guessing game of where she’ll land. At the same time, her voice is smooth and unhurried as she sings “It’s a pact / It’s a covenant,” enveloping us in a warmth that almost tingles, like a hot towel against icy skin. Fuzzy instrumentation, some reverb, and production choices that pluck, ding, and hum along the track add depth. Kirby’s bold, velvety vocals and playful irreverence ensure that she’s an artist to follow. 

Added by Thaddeus Adams

4Mac Dre – “My Prayer”

Introducing 4Mac Dre’s latest single “My Prayer,” a raw and introspective track that delves into a ‘bare it all’ dialogue, navigating the complexities between saint and sinner, and the quest for redemption. In this release, 4Mac Dre fearlessly questions God while sharing gripping narratives from his own reality, providing a glimpse into the experiences that have shaped him. Hailing from the same area in South Carolina, Trenton/North Augusta, along the I-25, also known as the 4 Lanes, 4Mac Dre’s music reflects the hardcore drill style of the region, exemplified in previous releases like “Come Outside” and “Haunted House.” The fusion of intense lyrics and jarring instrumentals creates a captivating and authentic vibe, making 4Mac Dre’s work a compelling listen for those seeking the raw and unfiltered essence of underground hip hop. If you’re looking to tap into this facet of the music scene, 4Mac Dre is undoubtedly a #GxldApproved artist to explore.

One Year Anniversary of Mike Brown’s debut album HER

For this particular selection, I chose to celebrate the anniversary of Mike Brown’s debut album HER. The album is one of the true conceptual R&B and soul albums of 2023, alongside the dope animated visuals, roll out and quality of the actual music on the album. Amidst a year filled with artistic, social, and political engagements, including performances at the highly anticipated Cultura Festival and his curation of a hip-hop musical “Hip-Hop Grinch,” Brown also achieved the distinction of becoming the youngest city councilman in Charleston’s history and forming one half of the first father and son duo councilman in Charleston history. As Young Dolph would say, THAT’s major. In reference to HER, my favorite tracks are “I Deserve to Be Free” and “Cold Side,” displaying Mike Brown’s multi-faceted vocals and his niche in Neo-soul and contemporary R&B represent a soothing, yet powerful narrative that deserves to be celebrated. Since today marks a year of its release, we give a #GxldApproved radar drop and a shout-out to the work of Mike Brown aka Councilman Michael A Brown. 

Dolo Boi – “R.T.O.”

Dolo Boi’s “R.T.O.” is a bold statement that defies conventional norms, featuring a no-hook, all-flow approach that delivers a powerful message to the local rap game. With confident flow, masterful wordplay, and a well-structured framework, Dolo Boi avoids redundancy in his cadence and delivery, all while infusing his vocals with a sort of ‘Texas swang’ that adds depth and allure to his lyrical content. The calm, sultry production creates an ideal backdrop, allowing his vocals to shine and emphasizing his position as a formidable force in the local rap scene, solidifying his status as a dominant lyricist. I’m very excited to hear what Dolo Boi has in the bag for 2024

Lou Algiedi ft BkA David Seward – “Like A Goat”

Melloe Soule Records has been delivering a string of releases from their roster throughout 2023. Comprised of BKA David Seward, Matt Graham, Major Hu$$le Maj, and Lou Algiedi each dropping multiple songs, their collective sound continues to evolve with each release. To kick off the year, the collaboration between Lou Algiedi and BKA David Seward on “Like A Goat,” produced by Matt Graham aka DJ MAJR, marks a continuing promising development. Their unconventional styles, combined with fearless explorations of alternative rap, bars, and harmony, have already produced engaging tracks like “Cashin Out,” and now, “Like A Goat.” As they further blend their talents and collaborate within their cohort, the anticipation for an evolved sound and seamless quality from these two artists on future tracks is certainly something to look forward to.

Added by Sarah Grace Sherbondy

Virginia Man – “Snow in the Desert”

The four-piece from Virginia, Virginia Man, who has never abstained from headlining a handful of shows in Charleston, celebrated the release of their long-time developing project “Snow in the Desert,” which dropped last Friday. The track was originally crafted in one sitting and was one of the group’s first recordings, but they decided to eventually rain-check: “This song ended up going through multiple different recordings, and eventually we settled on the last one and released it. That whole process was a bitch. We liked the song and were content with releasing it, but we knew at our core that something wasn’t right. We knew that we needed to go back to our first love, where there was life, creativity, and energy.” 

“Snow in the Desert” combines every sensation of all seasons with a grounding yet celestial technique in isolated picking, falsettos leveled with exuberant growls, and filled with existential crescendos that bring to life this long-lived ballad.

Norah Jones & Kris Kristofferson – “Help Me Make It Through the Night” (Willie Nelson 90 – Live at The Hollywood Bowl)

Video

Willie Nelson’s 90th birthday was celebrated alongside friends, family, and musical peers at the famed Hollywood Bowl in April 2023, in an experience that captured his truest wizardry throughout the years. Kris Kristofferson’s 1970 hit “Help Me Make It Through the Night” was included on the set list as a duet with soulful fusion-icon Norah Jones. The stapled country artist, now 87, effortlessly sailed through the heartwarming ballad with the accompaniment of Jones’ airy grasp that sealed an innate draw to every silvery lyric.

Ty Segall – “My Best Friend”

Ty Segall (who you’ve never heard me talk about before) has just released the fourth contribution to make up his upcoming record, Three Bells, with an official release date of January 26th. “My Best Friend” is a pup-friendly tune about Segall’s dog “Mr. Hernan” and is “for all the doggies and friends of doggies out there.” The three-minute track includes a hefty bass core and a consistent melody that plays in quintessential harmony with the music video, which includes the song-worthy Weiner Dog’s Go-Pro point of view.

Added by Chris Huber

Wilco – “Space Oddity” (Live)

Wilco covers David Bowie’s classic on the long-running radio show (since 1983), Mountain Stage, as part of the upcoming Mountain Stage compilation album set for release on April 19th. Wilco says: “As a gratefully, if not begrudgingly, Earth-bound band, it’s always an honor and a challenge to tackle any of David Bowie’s space-soaring arrangements. Striving to reach the heights of his freedom and talent is a wise goal for any band. We thank Mountain Stage for letting us give this song another home on Earth.”

Jah Jr. & Big Sparkk – “Shit I’m On”

Hip-hop artist and longtime collaborator of Extra Chill, Jah Jr., dropped a new single and video called “Shit I’m On,” featuring Big Sparkk. With a clean, smooth beat produced by Cha$e Jams, Jah Jr. hits this one with a lightweight confidence as he raps about being in a good place in life. He brings a lot of classic hip-hop themes of swerving the haters, overcoming adversities, and having lots of success with women and he does so with style. What more can you ask for?

Waxahatchie – “Right Back To It” ft. MJ Lenderman

Folk-twang crooner Waxahatchie will release a new album on March 22nd, called Tigers Blood, her first since 2020, and the lead single “Right Back To It” has a feature from MJ Lenderman. The track is gentle and reserved, with a smooth roll to the arrangement and decorative picking used as an accent. The lyrics explore nostalgic memories of emotional turmoil within a relationship, and harmonies between Katie and MJ Lenderman give the memories a duality, suggesting that regretful feelings are shared by both parties. Good stuff.

Tyrie – “Mamacita”

We’ve already featured Tyrie’s newest album, Mona Lisa in the form of a video interview, but I wanted to give it an additional shoutout for the track “Mamacita.” Tyrie’s vocal delivery on this track is great, as he moves through quick, repeated lines with a skilled cadence. He even works in some humor in the overdubs when he emphasizes how much he loves sweets, placing emphasis not only on the beauty of this “Mamacita” but also on a literal love for sweets. See the “Level” video for more on Tyrie’s love for sweets.