Welcome to The Best Music You Sent Us, a semi-monthly series to help you beat the algorithm. Each edition, we spotlighting listener submissions and under-the-radar artists that catch our ears, and that you need to know about.
So much music, never enough time. After diving into hand-written letters and holiday jams in our last two installments, we’re getting back to the basics with good ol’ fashioned submissions. This time around, we’ve got deep funk inspired by tropical birds, international grooves with a message, a new twist on a Jill Scott classic, and more.
The Grease Traps — “Bird of Paradise”
The Grease Traps are an eight-piece deep funk/raw soul outfit out of Oakland. Their lead singer, The Gata, bills himself as “lead vocalist, dance inventor, and all around fly dude,” and he certainly shows up as all three on “Bird of Paradise.” The record is a nasty groove as reminiscent of exotic bird dances as it is of James Brown, and it's the perfect thing to keep your energy up as we readjust to post-holiday routines.
Jazzmeia Horn and Her Noble Force — “Let Us (Take Our Time)”
New York-based, Dallas-born Jazzmeia Horn has already made a name for herself in the jazz world, with two Grammy nods under her belt and an album with heavyweight label Concord at just 30 years old, and her ambitions grow larger with every project. “Dear Love” is the newest album from Horn and Her Noble Force, a 15-piece big band whose name is certainly no understatement. On “Let Us (Take Our Time),” Horn and Her Noble Force do just that, guiding the listener through sections of soft jazz vocals, spoken word, and an exuberant drum-and-horns finale.
The vocalist saw her newest album as an opportunity to challenge herself as both a composer and a singer-songwriter, opening up to more personal and explorative lyrics. “Dear Love,” Horn says, is all about “love for my community, love for my culture, love for my partner, love for my children, love for myself … These songs are love letters to everyone.” “Dear Love” is out now on Horn’s own independent label, Empress Legacy Records, and available to stream wherever you listen to music.
Wild Bounce — “One Shot”
Wild Bounce is the neo-soul dance music duo of Daniele Carmosino and Mabreezee, two musicians who met at a show in Barcelona and never looked back. Mabreezee is a producer, singer, and world-traveler with roots in Angola and Portugal, while Carmosino is a composer, producer, and sound designer hailing from Italy. While the music they make as Wild Bounce draws on their own personal and musical inspirations, it’s grounded in a shared love for experimentation, analog sounds, and samples.
Their newest single, “One Shot,” is as mixed up and creatively vibrant as their origins. The track soars over a drum machine beat, buoyed by analog synthesizer and a heavy bassline. Mabreezee’s lyrics, meanwhile, explore the struggles, exhaustion, and resilience immigrants around the world display in search of a better life. It’s a story that literally crosses borders and celebrates those who’ve overcome the impossible to find a new home for themselves. “One Shot” is available now on streaming services, and while Wild Bounce is a brand new collaboration, we’re excited to see what the future holds for the globetrotting duo.
Yasmin — “Golden”
New Jersey-based singer-songwriter and model Yasmin brings new life to the Jill Scott classic “Golden.” Over a slowed-down sample of Scott’s original, Yasmin sings her own lyrics that follow in Scott’s vein of affirmation, independence, and inner peace. The music is nostalgic enough to evoke the extreme confidence of the original, while the new lyrics are fresh enough to make this song Yasmin’s own. The result is an ever-relevant reminder of the importance of finding happiness and self-love from within. Yasmin’s “Daylight / Savings” EP, capping out at just under eight minutes, is a great introduction to a rising talent, featuring short R&B tracks and a great Spanglish slow jam to accompany “Golden.” The EP is available now on all streaming services.
Fast Preacher — “Never Say Never” (feat. Claude)
Perhaps you’re new to the sounds of North Carolina multi-instrumentalist Fast Preacher, but you might already be familiar with his Chicago-based indie-soul quartet Fat Night. In his solo work as Fast Preacher, Daniel Hanson experiments with a range of sounds and feelings, creating dreamy, airy, and rock-inspired scapes.
“Never Say Never” is Hanson’s collaboration with another Chicago artist, dream-pop singer-songwriter Claudia Ferme-Giralt (a.k.a. Claude). The song showcases the best of both talents. Over soft rock instrumentation with a cosmic crescendo of synths and drums, Claude’s voice is gentle yet self-assured as she sings about processing the end of an unhealthy relationship. “Never Say Never” is out now on streaming services.