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Sound Check's Blog (2,691)

AFROPUNK PREMIERE: Queercore / Emo Band MALLRAT Finds Power In Pain On The Cathartic and Necessary Debut EP “every breath a fracture” #SOUNDCHECK

In a tiny living room above The Silent Barn, we crammed around a space barely big enough to fit the drum kit whose bass drum kept slipping, let alone a band and audience. Singer Melo introduced each song with the line “this is a song about trauma and stuff” that moved from uncomfortable, to heartbreaking, to absurd, to hilarious and cathartic, as the band performed the unique magic trick of making songs about personal struggle and pain into an invitation to commune. This is…


Added by Sound Check on December 2, 2016 at 12:14pm — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Alternative R&B singer Mélat debuts heavenly vocals on new album “MéVen” featuring Xavier Omar and Sylvan LaCue

R&B is making a major comeback in 2016 and Mélat is making it known that her place right in the thick of it. This revival hasn’t come without significant upgrades and a lot of flavor from the likes of electronica, jazz, and soul, and Mélat’s new “MéVen” project is certainly making waves. Smooth and spicy collaborations from Xavier Omar (formerly SPZRKT) and Sylvan LaCue, this newcomer’s offering is as strong as they come. Honest storytelling and an almost surreal… Continue

Added by Sound Check on December 2, 2016 at 11:36am — No Comments

NOW STREAMING—AFROPUNK Mixtape #024: In The Face Of Evil

With the future Donald Trump administration looming overhead as the Orange One assembles his inexperienced and unqualified billionaire cabinet, we put together a collection of songs that reflect our heavy hearts, frustrations, and most of all our resilience. AFROPUNK Mixtape #024: In The Face Of Evil features politically charged music by A Tribe Called Quest, Willow Smith, Childish Gambino, Askmeificare, BLXPLTN, Iris Gold, and many more. Stream it on…


Added by Sound Check on December 2, 2016 at 11:30am — No Comments

Childish Gambino is everybody’s funkalicious baby daddy in new album “Awaken, My Love!”

Donald Glover is having an unbelievable year. With his FX networks show Atlanta speaking to and for Black millennials with unprecedented storytelling, many thought that that would be the only creative output the jack of all trades would have this year. But a few weeks ago, he dropped the first single ‘Me and Your Mama,’ from album “Awaken, My Love!” and we all new that our expectations of the star were humble at most. The new album is unlike anything we’ve heard from Glover’s… Continue

Added by Sound Check on December 2, 2016 at 10:27am — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Eugenius Explores His Warring Halves On The Dense and Atmospheric 'Create of Habit, Habits of Creatures' #SoundCheck

This much is for damn sure, Phillip Smith does nothing half-assed. The vocalist, producer, and multi-instrumentalist cut his teeth playing in punk and hardcore bands before branching into indie and soul with Silent tongues and hip-hop Eugenius in 2007. His disparate sides get reunited on the Silent tongues / Eugenius split LP Creature of Habit, Habits of Creatures released this past month. The full length spans 17 tracks, features a huge photo zine, and dense…


Added by Sound Check on December 1, 2016 at 6:30pm — 1 Comment

VIDEO PREMIERE: Ska band Judge Roughneck join Fishbone's Angelo Moore in cover of classic "Mirror In the Bathroom" in new video

Not many can do justice to classics, but Judge Roughneck and Fishbone’s Angelo Moore combine for this rework of The English Beat’s classic is effortless. "Mirror In The Bathroom" takes Judge Roughneck's blend of ska & reggae to its peak, paying tribute to both the early '80's British 2-Tone movement and the original jazz-laced ska of Jamaica and infused with soul. The in-studio visual showcases the vibrant energy that radiates from this outfit, plenty of soul and…


Added by Sound Check on December 1, 2016 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Upcoming Sly Stone documentary features Bobby Womack, Cornel West and many more

A new documentary on legendary funk and soul trailblazer Sly Stone is coming to Slamdance Festival in January! Best known as the lead singer and producer for Sly and the Family Stone, Sly is often credited for helping to usher in the creative and sonic content that would come to characterize funk, rock, R&B, soul, and psychedelia. On Sly’s impact, Cornel West says that he wouldn’t be who he is without the song ‘Everyday People,’ originally released in 1968 on the album… Continue

Added by Sound Check on December 1, 2016 at 12:30pm — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Stream blues band Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears announce 4th album with classically soulful single ‘PTP’

Need to be transported to another time and place? Well look no further than blues band Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears. With a name like that, do you expect anything but soul and sweetness? Because that’s exactly what they’re giving you. In new jam ‘PTP,’ lead singer Black Joe rivals the likes of BB King with his raspy tenor, melting over the thick, full-bodied guitar riffs and constant crashing of cymbals and toms. This joint is the perfect treat to entice fans for…


Added by Sound Check on November 30, 2016 at 11:34am — No Comments

Meshell Ndegeocello creates theater piece inspired by James Baldwin

The ingenious singer and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello has taken her love for all things creative and made a theater piece for the ages. As a revival of sorts, Meshell is using James Baldwin’s “The Fire Next Time” as the foundation for a conversation about the Black body, queer identity, and freedom. The piece entitled, “Can I Get a Witness? The Gospel of James Baldwin” comes to Harlem Stage December 7-11, staged as a church service, employing music, sermon, text, images, and… Continue

Added by Sound Check on November 30, 2016 at 11:27am — 1 Comment

NEW MUSIC: Chill Out To The Neo-Soul Vibes Of Jus and Muhsinah's “Unconventional” #SoundCheck

Over a decidedly retro feel, singer Muhsinah's vocals float and sting. “I get plenty prospects / But I don't really call them / I mean why should I?” Her unconventional love songs boast an unconventional love on “Unconventional” and “Everything You Want.” And though unconventional, the vocals and Jus' production on both tracks are certainly timeless; shades of Erykah Badu and Native Tongues. The EP is rounded out with an instrumental of “Unconventional” and an…


Added by Sound Check on November 29, 2016 at 1:20pm — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Stream Electro Soul Singer Nosizwe's Impressive Debut 'In Fragments' Produced By Georgia Anne Muldrow #SoundCheck

Nosizwe burst onto our radar 2 years ago with a series of promising singles, and with her debut full length In Fragments, she's officially arrived. The electro soul singer's record teems with bold ideas, powerful vocals, and lush arrangements that demand re-listening. From the enigmatic opening to “Songs From Nosizwe” a glitchy beat takes over merging the all-too-human vocals with a post-modern electronic jitter, for something simultaneously chill and unsettling.…


Added by Sound Check on November 29, 2016 at 11:00am — No Comments

VIDEO PREMIERE: Stream Zurich songstress Brandy Butler’s otherworldly visual for her enchanting single ‘Spell’

Everybody feels someone else’s magic sometimes. So when you press play on ‘Spell’ by Brandy Butler, let the magic wash over you and wrap you in its sweet embrace, but only if you’re willing to fall in deep. Butler, a Zurich-based, Pennsylvania bred jazz singer, is borrowing from electronic, folk and soul vibes in her song ‘Spell,’ casting a couple of her own in the process. The video, which was crafted by a team consisting of director Nicole Pfister, assistant director…


Added by Sound Check on November 29, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Elle Winston Pushes Her Voice To New Heights On The Indie Funk Single “Heavy Now” #SoundCheck

“These bills ain't paying theirselves / But I swear I wish they would” Elle Winston sings on her latest single, “Heavy Now.” Voicing her frustration over being mistreated and exploited, Elle's powerful voice rings out while the band lays down some serious grooves. The song comes from her forthcoming record, and strips out the electronic neo-soul flourishes that adorned her previous recordings in favor of tight instrumental backing. The change suits Elle Winston well, with…


Added by Sound Check on November 28, 2016 at 5:00pm — No Comments

PREMIERE: NYC soul singer Leandra McNair is feeling “Lucky” in love in new single from forthcoming EP

With idols like Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monae, and Lauryn Hill, how could Leandra McNair lose? In her new single “Lucky,” she’s reflecting on love and all its honeyed sweetness. Leandra said, "This song is about feeling lucky to have such a great love in your life and how they swept you off your feet and consumed you with so much love.” Leandra’s been described as contemporary, alternative soul with strong hip-hop influences and a distinct jazz background, but in this jam…


Added by Sound Check on November 28, 2016 at 11:20am — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: CX KIDTRONIK Returns With His Industrial Punk Band Sewer Rats' 'EP 1' #SoundCheck

Always outspoken, always over the top, CX KIDTRONIK never does anything halfway. His latest record with Sewer Rats finds the beatmaker, vocalist, and fetish producer bridging the gap between his work with Atari Teenage Riot and Trent Reznor. It's blistering industrial punk that only barely takes itself seriously, and features a song-length commercial for CX's fetish site. Because why the fuck not? The EP's single “Drunk Dad” skewers the Walmart-Americans who put a…


Added by Sound Check on November 23, 2016 at 12:22pm — No Comments

Meet Diamond Rowe of Tetrarch, the guitarist repping for Black women making metal

Black women and punk music go as far back as punk music itself. Those untold stories are part of the reason why AFROPUNK exists, and telling these stories is part of our mission. We asked Diamond Rowe about her experience being a Black woman in a metal band, and here’s what she had to say! “As far as my thoughts about being an African American female in a metal band - I honestly immensely enjoy it! A lot of friends of mine that are minorities speak a lot about being…


Added by Sound Check on November 22, 2016 at 5:31pm — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: East London alt-rockers Sonitus balance introspection and intensity in new EP “Kleptocracy”

Sonitus has finally released their EP “Kleptocracy,” a 7-track journey through their collective imagination. “Kleptocracy” is a succinct offering, brief but brimming with realized potential, searing honesty, artful lyrics, and an overall vibe of intimacy. Led by the vocals of singers Russell Balogun and Dein Moore, Sonitus is reminiscent of the worldly pop-rock of of the 2000s, with more aggression and urgency behind each of the lyrics and even more intensity behind the…


Added by Sound Check on November 18, 2016 at 12:00pm — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: AFROPUNK alum and R&B/soulstress Jorja Smith returns with two new, vibrant tracks from her ‘Project 11’ EP

AFROPUNK London alum Jorja Smith is one of my favorite new talents of 2016. A follow up to this year’s earlier tracks, “Blue Lights” and “Where DId I Go?”, the British beauty just released two singles, “Carry Me Home” and “Imperfect Circle”. The first, a spoken word piece that evolves into a staggering R&B/soul ballad. Similar to “Blue Lights”, “Imperfect Circle” is an observational track that calls out the many contradictions, inequalities, and ethically questionable…


Added by Sound Check on November 18, 2016 at 11:52am — 2 Comments

NEW MUSIC: Stream Childish Gambino’s funky, soulful new single “Redbone”

HOLY SHIT. GAMBINO IS NOT PLAYING WITH YALL. Funkadelic, Prince, Bilal, all the vibes and all the instrumentation and oh my goodness, this new track “Redbone” has me floored. The funk is upon us, with all of the soul of a thousand George Clinton braids swaying to the rhythm of the bass. I’m not ready for this album, but it needs to get here, because I’m currently abusing the replay button and I think you will too. Stream “Redbone” by Childish Gambino below. …


Added by Sound Check on November 18, 2016 at 10:36am — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Bodega Dream Mix Hip-Hop, Indie Rock and Politically Charged Lyrics On The Impressive 'EP 2' #SoundCheck

Life and death loom large on Bodega Dream's appropriately titled 2nd EP, EP 2. The band balances indie rock and hip-hop with depth and passion over 4 tracks. Opening with the struggle against hopelessness anthem of “Polaroids,” frontman Darion Ray Kelley jumps back and forth between frustration and a repeated refrain to “hold on, hold on.” That frustration curdles into exhaustion on “New York Times.”

The apocalypse is coming, “The New York Times said the raging fire will…


Added by Sound Check on November 18, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments

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