Welcome back to another round of new music. Please pardon any loopiness today — I was out a little late with the lovely ladies of God-des & She and got a preview of their upcoming album. I do not kid when I say it is a freaking banger and will have you ready to shake your ass.
Ellie Goulding — Halcyon (Polydor)
I have a hard time describing Ellie as anything besides “adorable,” mostly because she is pretty much the embodiment of the word — Skrillex on her arm and all. What this album does from its opening minutes is erase the mental image of adorableness and replaces it with a more adult-like beauty. Throughout Halcyon, Goulding’s voice takes on the essence of string instruments then transforms into ethereal lilts and further transforms into soul-drenched vocals backed by some intensely rich instrumentals and electronic elements. At this point, it is hard for me to choose which song is my favorite but “Only You,” “My Blood” and “Explosions” are the top contenders. Her cover of Active Child‘s incredible song “Hanging On”is pretty sweet as well, so stream that below and, for your added pleasure, check out the Birdy Nam Nam remix of “Anything Could Happen.” Meanwhile, can Florence Welch and Ellie please collaborate on something? I think the world needs it.
Meshell Ndegeocello — Pour une Âme Souveraine: A Dedication to Nina Simone (Naive)
Nina Simone is getting quite the dedication with this panty-dropper of an album. Ndegeocello’s voice is filled with the sexual prowess of Sade but with added soul (check out “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” — hot damn!). The album features some great collaborations with artists such as Toshi Reagon, Cody Chestnutt and Lizz Wright and is a great listen front to back. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a Soundcloud stream for any of the tracks but here’s a link to a free download of “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” featuring Cody Chestnutt. You can stream the entire album as well!
AG — The Beatles by AG (Red Parade)
A few months ago, we premiered the outstanding video for AG’s (Adrianne Gonzalez) brilliant cover of “I Wanna Be Your Man.” A few weeks ago I got to watch her perform it live alongside Garrison Starr and Maia Sharp and there were goosebumps running up and down my arms. The set is now complete with five other Beatles tribute songs released on this EP. Not all of the songs come across as powerful as the first one we were introduced to, but AG has still managed to make these classic songs her own. For Tegan and Sara fans, check out “From Me to You” and let me know if it reminded you of the dynamic duo. Stream the EP over at Spinner.
As a sidenote: Since I did get to see “An Evening with AG, Garrison Starr and Maia Sharp,” I think it’s only fair to tell you how great the show was. Those three (along with a phenomenal guitarist named Linda Taylor) had great chemistry and their harmonies were just incredible. So, I’m not sure how much longer the tour will be going on for, but check it out if you have the opportunity!
Kaki King — Glow (Velour Recordings)
As far as my musical experiences are concerned, it’s not often that I find myself listening to purely instrumental artists without noticing a voice is missing. Kaki King, as I’m sure most of you are familiar, is an incredibly talented guitarist who plays with so much variation in the ways she plucks, strums and the rhythms used throughout each song that no words are even needed to convey the story she is telling. Glow feels like a journey across different countries, landscapes and even weather (put “Cargo Cult” on a stormy cold weather mix with Cat Power‘s “Metal Heart,” light a candle, grab a book and you’ll be set).
More Music Extras: Eve is back with a new track and it’s pretty fierce. Good lord, she is hot.
Stream the slo-mo-electro remix of Alice Cohen’s “Mauve Mood” from Gavin Russom:
Tasty tasty chilled out beats can be heard from electronic producer and composer Fatima Al Qadiri:
Icelandic musician Sóley has made her track, “I’ll Drown” available for streaming and downloading.
And now we’ve got a video debut from a band I told you about a few weeks ago, Saucy Monkey. “Awkward” features a whole lot of lesbian drama many of us know all too well. Their EP, Trophy Girl, was also released today!
That’s all for this week. I hope you found some new albums to love or at the very least, a few songs to keep you warm as the temperature starts to fall. Until next week, feel free to find me on Twitter, add me on Facebook or creep my music playlists on Spotify.