On this very first day of summer, there are some great releases to compliment all the BBQs, beaches, and sunshine you are sure to enjoy these next several months. Let's get right to it.
Flamingods – “Olympia” (Track Premiere)
If Dead Can Dance and TV On the Radio had a baby, it would be Flamingods. The quintet is now based in the UK with four of its members having grown up together in Bahrain and the fifth, from near by Dubai. Their music is just as unique as their unlikely beginnings.
Flamingods focus on exploration and experimentation with influences from different cultures around the world. They fuse psychedelic rock with instruments from Japan, Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand, Tanzania, and Turkey. This combination creates a soundscape that is uniquely Falmingods. Check out the visuals for "Olympia" which is from their latest album, Levitation.
Jordan Rakei - "Say Something"
Born in New Zealand, raised in Australia, and now based in London, Jordan Rakei is one of my favorite singers to have emerged over the last several years. Living in London and in close proximity to the burgeoning jazz and electronic scenes has served his sound well. He’s also influenced by neo-soul luminaries such as Erykah Badu, Maxwell, Lauryn Hill and especially, D'Angelo. Think about all that for a second. Yeah, Jordan Rakei is a bad man.
While I have been a fan and supporter of his since 2013 - I am both pleased and impressed with his growth as a songwriter and overall artist. That growth has continued with Rakei's third album Origin; which explores philosophical questions having to do with technology and how it affects our perception of humanity.
Origin is largely inspired by dystopian visions of our future by way of "Black Mirror," "The Handmaid's Tale," and "Twin Peaks: The Return." Musically, Jordan masterfully explores all these themes by crafting Stevie Wonder and Steely Dan like compositions. While, lyrically, the album follows the journey of a protagonist threatened by the growth of technology and how it can alienate us from the experiences and people around us. Origin is a fascinating listen and accomplishment.
By the way, he'll be on Morning Becomes Eclectic next Tues for a live performance and interview. Be sure to check it out!
Salaam Remi & Terrace Martin - "Carrot Juice"
Amy Winehouse, Kendrick Lamar, and Nas are just a few names that these two famed producers have worked with. So when they dropped "Carrot Juice" in March and announced a forthcoming joint project, I was salivating with anticipation. Now that time has come.
Northside of Linden, Westside of Slauson encapsulates the sounds of Salaam Remi & Terrace Martin's respective hometowns. This project is 24 minutes of instrumentals that reflect the jazz and hip hop scenes of Queens, NY and South Los Angeles. The result is a seamless combination of the laidback, smooth sound of California mixed with the bustling, cacophony that is New York City. When asked about the inspiration behind the project Slaam Remi said, "The way I see it, music is meant to be shared and also created amongst friends."
I love this project and if you are looking for a soundtrack to a late-night drive, this is the one for you. Check out the video for the aforementioned "Carrot Juice."