New Album from Curumin – “Arrocha”

Curumin is a Brazilian artist who I’ve been following since his first album, “Achados E Perdidos.”  Brought up in the samba/bossa nova tradition, he adds into the mix hip-hop, funk, and electronic music to make for a really unique sound. His new album, “Arrocha,” takes all that to new heights, jumping around from hip-hop instrumentals (“Blimblim”) to bass-heavy dub (“Treme Terra”) to upbeat reggae (“Vestido de prata”) and back to some of his traditional samba/funk-rock sound (“Passarinho”). Stream it from Soundcloud below!

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David Byrne & St. Vincent – First Single, “Who”

Wow! This is really interesting and good. The saxophones give an already upbeat song a quirky feel, and St. Vincent brings in an element of the mysterious with her well-proven vocal chops. Despite the creepy album cover, you should definitely go the collaborative album’s website HERE where you can download “Who”. I’m already looking forward to the album’s release, September 11th!

New Yellow Ostrich!

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According to Alex Schaaf, Yellow Ostrich’s sophomore album, Strange Land, is a big step up in the band’s sound:

“The Mistress was a guy in a bedroom,” says Schaaf. ”Strange Land is a band. In a slightly bigger room.”

While the room situation slowly gets better, the group’s music has done nothing but solidly improve on their sophomore release. Check out “Marathon Runner” above for the instrumentally beefed-up version of Yellow Ostrich’s previous looped-guitar sound, as usual with vocal harmonies and odd lyrics galore.

Around Town: Gordon Voidwell

For the most part, Gordon Voidwell makes super funky electro music, thick with synthesizers, versatile singing, and creative lyrics.  The guy has a great sense for rhythm and melody; which pretty much makes him a great musician considering those are basically the most important parts of music… after cultivating a totally rad image of course. Which he seems to be able to do too. Plus, he’s playing at Mass Moca tomorrow night!

Point is, check this guy out. I said “electro” as a genre for him, but his stuff fits into a lot of different categories, and has a little bit for everyone. Check out “Id Ego Superego” below, and if you like it or any of the other songs on his YouTube channel, go here to download his recent mixtape MalcolmXXXMcLaren.

On The Rise: Frank Ocean

I can’t help but to have high expectations for this up-and-coming R&B singer and songwriter. Collaborations with Kanye West and Jay-Z on “Watch the Throne” (see here or here) as well as Odd Future leader and fellow-member Tyler, The Creator’s “Goblin” (here) have put Frank Ocean on the map more than his excellent mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra, or even his celebrity songwriting (Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Brandy, etc, according to Wikipedia).

Personally, I think it’s great to have someone in music today who really put some time into songwriting without performing. A lot of great bands from back in the day had songwriting members who came from professional songwriting background – Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground come to mind. His lyrics and his melodies have a sense of great organization; Songs for Women, for example, has one pre- and and one post-breakup verse, the first expressing his confidence and the second his regret and betrayal. Of course, the songwriting quality is for you to decide… Check out “We All Try” below!