Sudan Archives – “Selfish Soul”
Sudan Archives is a LA-based violinist and singer-songwriter whose latest single, “Selfish Soul,” is a throbbing, exuberant ode to women and a celebration of hair. The clapping, danceable beat might cause you to miss the deeper meaning of the lyrics at hand. The empowering song is all about not conforming to the toxic beauty standards of America and embracing the most authentic version of yourself.
Harvey Sutherland – “Holding Pattern”
The Melbourne-based producer Harvey Sutherland is best known for his collaborations with other artists. He’s made a name for himself producing, remixing and songwriting alongside the likes of Khruangbin, Disclosure and Hiatus Kaiyote. For his debut solo album, he was forced to look inward and figure out who he was and what he wanted to say. “The record became this journey of finding funk in unexpected places,” Sutherland says. That soul-searching quest is no more apparent than in the stand-out song “Holding Pattern,” which features Sutherland’s first-ever lead vocal performance, a slinky sax solo and a funky blue-eyed soul beat lamenting a go-nowhere relationship stuck in neutral.
Pusha T – “Brambleton”
For Virginia’s Pusha-T, his passion for the art of rapping is what keeps him going well into middle age. Whether coming up and establishing himself with his brother Malice as Clipse or maintaining momentum as one of the fiercest rappers alive as a solo artist, Pusha-T has always had impeccable bars that are the obvious result of an imaginative mind mastering his craft. With his latest album, “It’s Almost Dry,” the “Martin Scorsese of Rap” strives for “gratuitous greatness,” and in the opening track “Brambleton,” things get personal. Taking its name from a street in Norfolk, Virginia, where Pusha-T’s mother worked as a pharmacy technician, “Brambleton” features a cold synthetic beat by Pharrell Williams reminiscent of late-night drives in a white Ferarri along Miami’s fluorescent coastlines. Pusha grabs the mic and lets his words punch through with ferocity while weaving a tale of betrayal that leaves you yearning to know who he’s referring to.
Izaak Opatz – “Chinook Wind”
Missoula, Montana’s Izaak Opatz utilizes deft and humorous word play to tell confessional-type stories of travels, heartbreak and tragedies on his new album “Extra Medium.” In the lead single, “Chinook Wind,” he pulls you in as if he’s sitting right next to you on a park bench with a cautionary tale of a love interest who’s playing him like a yo-yo. With mentions of hot springs, plastic cups and unexpected kisses on the neck, you can’t help but feel nostalgic for those mid-winter dips south of town with friends and lovers.
Sam Redmore – “Tears”
Last but not least is a completely unexpected curveball of a cover from British producer Sam Redmore which combines an interesting blend of source material and inspiration. “Tears” is an Afro-Latin re-work of disco legend Giorgio Moroder’s spooky synth track from 1972, most famous for being sampled by DJ Shadow for his classic track “Organ Donor.” With horns, strings and a shuffling Cumbia beat perfect for the summer months, you can’t help but move your body to this one.