ImSoMaleek a Wyclef Jean protegé from Brooklyn, will be releasing his debut album, Insomniak, later next month. No stranger to the world of music, ImSoMaleek was lead singer in a band with his two older brothers 3on3 and also appeared in the Broadway Musical Lion King as well as venturing into other music endeavours.
With the guiding hand of Wyclef Jean and drawing from influences such as Usher, Frank Ocean and Justin Timberlake, ImSoMaleek brings out a solid debut album, blending R&B, soul, while adding touches of pop, and drawing on his roots in classical training.
Tipped to become a familiar name in the R&B world, as well as the world of popular music, this debut album is overall a fine achievement. The album has a smooth flowing contemporary sound with stand out tracks including, Sometimes ft. Oswin Benjamin, and Raindrops, a ballad with poignant lyrics and which best displays his vocal talents. Overall, a compelling debut from someone who we will probably see a lot more of in the future.
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Frontman formerly of Fast Cars takes single from fundraising album ‘Audio Book’
Part of the New Wave era with the band Fast Cars, Steve Murray is back with a new sound, a new album and a new single.
The acoustic rock track ‘Angels & Butterflies’ is an uplifting track about overcoming adversity, with a strong country vibe and a distinctive vocal performance by Murray himself. It’s a great example of the new approach he’s taken for his new album, a mellow, stripped back style of rock that suits his voice perfectly.
You can hear the single here: https://soundcloud.com/labelled-independent/steve-murray-kingbird-angels
The LP itself, ‘Audio Book’, was released to raise funds for a charity called “Georgia’s Children of the World” set up by Steve and his daughter Georgia’s friends, after she unfortunately passed away following complications in her third heart operation. Available now but slated for a possible re-issue early in 2014, it’s a strong collection of songs full of positive messages, a value it shares with its writer.
‘Audio Book’ is the latest release in an enviable musical career. As well as working on projects alongside the likes of Mark Riley (6 Music), Paul Weller and The Jam and Joy Division, Steve Murray was the songwriter of ‘The Kids Just Wanna Dance’ – a Fast Cars single that is now amongst the top 20 most collectible from the period. Recently released on an album by Californian band Emily’s Army, the song was hand picked by Billy Joe Armstong of Green Day who also produced the album which features his son Joey on drums
From the very opening of this new LP from White Denim, it’s apparent we’re in for something special. The tight guitar/bass/drums riff that precedes the shuffled verse and chorus of opener ‘At Night In Dreams’ is one of the most compelling opening to an album I’ve heard in a good long while, and that taught nature is something that remains throughout the album.
Utilising blues rock tropes but without resorting to the usual growled vocals and 12 bar structure, this is a treat of a release that delights throughout. Highlights include the jazz fusion lines of the title track ‘Corsicana Lemonade’, the drums almost falling over themselves to deliver effective rhythmic and time signature changes.
Later though, ‘Pretty Green’ is a complete contrast that’s built around far more straightforward rhythms but doesn’t suffer for it. Switching back and forth between straight and shuffled beats, this could even be seen as a little bit country.
So what we have here then is a collection of roots genres – jazz, blues, country (even a touch of folk here and there) – that tie together brilliantly to create a ten song collection that really captures you on first listen.