With so much good music coming through thick and fast, it’s easy for brand-new music to drop online and go overlooked. To help prevent this, we’ve picked five new releases you need to hear — stream music from Brandee Younger, Ryan Porter, LBT, Nia Andrews, and MALK If you like what you hear, hit the links and support the artists.
Brandee Younger – Soul Awakening
Surfacing six years after its completion in 2013, this eight-track collection was recorded in 2012 under the direction of producer and bassist Dezron Douglas, and embodies the ambition, vigor and aesthetic ideals of The Brandee Younger Quartet, at and since its inception. From the deep spirituality of ‘Soulris’ and ‘Love’s Prayer’ to the spellbinding version of Marvin’s ‘Save the Children’, the album is a masterclass in exceptional production, arrangement and songwriting. Guest appearances include saxophonist Ravi Coltrane (son of John and Alice), acclaimed trumpeter Sean Jones, drummer E.J. Strickland, vocalist Niia and saxophonist Antione Roney to name a few. This is Younger’s fourth album and her most complete work to date. Highly recommended!
Ryan Porter – Force For Good
Ryan Porter is a trombonist and composer and his third and possibly best album so far ‘Force For Good’ is a magnificent 84-minute jazz-fusion opus. Written and recorded between 2014-19, he is joined by core members of the West Coast Get Down, including Kamasi Washington (sax), Brandon Coleman (piano, Fender Rhodes), Cameron Graves (piano, Fender Rhodes), Miles Mosley (acoustic bass), Thundercat (electric bass), and Tony Austin (drums). Cameos on the record include Nia Andrews (vocals), Josef Leimberg (trumpet, percussion), Aaron Haggerty (drums), and more. The eleven-track collection was captured across different locations in Los Angeles. Sheet music and general instructions were brought to the studio, with Porter giving the artists freedom to explore around the plotted transitions and changes. Standouts from this fabulous album include ‘Madiba’, ‘Heaven Only Knows’, ‘Memory Band, ‘Mesosphere’ and ‘Oscalypso’. As you would expect, the playing is of the highest standard. Great album.
LBT – Too Busy
This new EP, titled ‘Too Busy’, from Tel Aviv collective LBT was written and recorded during two consecutive days in two studios and over-dubbed with vocals by the band’s four vocalists – KerenDun, Echo, Rebel Sun and Mo Rayon. Comprised of five tracks, we’re treated to a colourful journey through jazz with neo-soul and hip hop influences. The 12-strong ensemble also includes the likes of Amir Bresler on drums, Beno Hendler on bass, Nomok on keys, Rejoicer on synths, Sefi Zisling on trumpet and more. A superb release via the always excellent Raw Tapes label!
Nia Andrews – No Safe Place
No Place Is Safe is the debut album from singer-songwriter Nia Andrews. The album sees the Andrews continuing to push boundaries of soul music, with this profoundly spiritual and genre-defying recording. Let her transport you to her world of broken dreams, mental chaos, yearning, isolation and forgiveness through eleven tranquil songs that encompass her lush instrumentation, heart-melting vocals and touching songwriting. On No Safe Place, you won’t be tempted to skip over any duff tracks because there isn’t any. This is a magical debut from an artist we’ve had an eye on since she guested on Mark de Clive-Lowe’s Church LP back in 2014. An absolute must listen!
MALK – WMAIDIT
Another essential release from MALK! After releases on Sweet Chunk, Shut_Ins and Home Assembly Music the London-based producer lands on Lost Tribe Sound. MALK newest album ‘WMAIDIT’, continues the labels ongoing Dead West cassette series which finds artists who typically create electronic music deliver a more acoustically driven set. Fans of MALK will be pleased to hear elements of hip hop, punk and vaporwave are still intact, but this time they’re tied to lo-fi acoustic experiments. Once again, he shows he is a truly unique artist.