Sango– “Middle of Things, Beautiful Wife (Feat. SPZRKT)”
Pairs Well With…Esta, Iamnobodi, Whoarei
Grand Rapids based musician Sango is an R&B producer that mixes electronic beats with soulful vocals. Standout tracks on his first full length album North include collaborations with SPZRKT, JMSN, and Ta-ku & Tracey. The album was one of many standout albums released by his label Soulection last year. His production combines soul, R&B, hip hop, and broken beat into a unique sound. He’s a master of mood on the track, creating warm soothing tracks while adding just the right amount of audio manipulation to keep you listening intently.
Esta is signed to the electronic music, hip hop, beats, and R&B label Soulection. He fits right into the innovative labels roster with his soulful electronic production style. His album Paradise is one of the most laid back enjoyable electronic meets R&B albums of last year. His production is wonderfully eclectic incorporating creative drum patterns and perfectly incorporated vocals.
While the story may seem cautiously familiar, a sister-led rock band with an eclectic, pop-centered nature, The Beaches are able to stake a sound all their own with their 2013 introduction. There are only a couple of singles to off of right now (“Little Pieces” and “Loner”), both of which feature multiple sections that break out of A-B-A norms. It’s this deeper look into what rock/pop is that makes The Beaches stand out, even more impressive that most of them still have yet to finish high school. Taking the music theory out of the equation, The Beaches have a killer, kicking drive through both songs, jamming precisely and concurrently across the board. These kids are alright.
Hip Hop duo Emanon is Aloe Blacc with producer Exile on the beats. Their 2005 album The Waiting Room is one of the best West Coast hip hop albums of the last decade. With both artists busy release schedule SXSW presents a rare opportunity to see the two together. They’re part of the amazing Okayplayer showcase line-up on Friday evening.
Pairs Well With…The Hold Steady, Built to Spill, Smashing Pumpkins
It’s interesting how under-the-radar Chicago rock band has been over the last few years given how driven, accessible and still experimental the band’s records have been. There’s definitely a 90s grunge-pop throwback at play here, ready to break with their upcoming LP Back in Black. Check the thick overdrive of “Scary Dream” for three-minutes of punk noise amid a pop-rock song. Flip that against “The High Road”, a blues rock number with a hook-laden chorus. This range is what Archie Powell & The Exports stand out within a genre that has continued to thrive two decades later.
Pairs Well With…Mountain Man, June Carter, The Living Sisters
It’s doubtful there will be a review of The Haden Triplets that isn’t praising the rich harmonies that dominate their throwback country sound, so no need for me to be the first. It is pretty remarkable on record and surely this is going to kill live. ‘Throwback’ here is for real – traditional interpretations and covers of old country-pop tunes mark The Haden Triplets’ debut LP. Even though their eyes are pointed to the past, that doesn’t take away from how strong they sound on their debut, elegantly produced by family friend Ry Cooder. The Haden Triplets was released on Third Man Records just last month.