This Week’s Theme: New Music
Due to the themes I’ve selected over the last few weeks, there has been very little new music on the Faux Show for a while. For that reason, this week’s theme is New Music. All songs are from 2022, and cover a variety of genres.
Welcome to Radio Faux Show Volume 2, Number 14.
First things first – click a link to start listening and then come back to read about this week’s songs.
I’ve selected a mix that includes many types of music, including a relatively long Trip Around the World. One thing I always notice when I go searching for new music is that global music trends really have made this a small world. Aside from the occasional use of traditional instruments, the influence of Western dance and hip-hop has permeated the globe, from South Korea to France to Jamaica to Brazil. It is subjective as to whether that is a good or bad thing, but it does make a search for new music a repetitive endeavor. Even more repetitive is a search for new hip-hop that doesn’t sound like whatever new hip-hop sounds like. I will admit that I am not a fan of hip-hop from the last ten or twenty years, but I was still surprised when I checked out new releases by old school rappers like Cypress Hill and KRS-One and found very little connection to the old sounds they are famous for inventing (in the KRS-One example there is NO connection). The same can be said for the sounds of other forms of popular music as well. I took a long stroll through a lot of new indie rock releases, and the sanitized production really started to get to me. Throw all of this together, and my journey through the new releases of 2022 was very same-sounding and a little bit disappointing. Still, I was able to pull together plenty of quality, diverse songs that I can only hope will remain interesting as I investigate these bands and albums further in the future.
They hail from Sweden, they look like apocalyptic black metal warriors, they sound like a cross between Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, and In Flames, and they have a brand new album. They are Ghost, and if you like old school heavy metal then they are about as good as it gets in the 2020s.
Theme selection: “Kaisarion”
Most of my favorite songs on this week’s show are by women. From the funk of Shirley Davis (see 3 Chunks of Funk) to the international variety of Ibibio Sound Machine, Yaya Kim, Alina Bzhezhinska, Janet Monyowa, Go_A, and Loboda (see Trip Around the World), 2022 is all about female artists so far this year.
I was especially happy to discover some new music by female singer/songwriters to rival my favorite album of the year up to now – Laurel Hell by Mitski.
Cassyette “Mayhem”: This is the latest single from a new artist who has released a handful of singles over the last few years.
HAIM “Lost Track”: This new single by the sisters Haim is their first since they appeared in the Paul Thomas Anderson film Licorice Pizza (which starred sister Alana). Anderson directed the video, and the song is in support of a 2022 tour by the band.
Sharon Van Etten “Used To It”: This is a great new single by Van Etten. The songwriting of both Mitski and Van Etten is cut from the same cloth, which is a good thing.
The Weather Station “Ignorance”: The latest album by this group, How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars, is my favorite discovery of the week. Actually, my favorite discovery is their 2021 album Ignorance (this song is a delayed title track I guess), which should have been on my Best of 2021 list. It is a great late-period Talk Talk influenced album. This new one is more subdued, but shares that same late-period Talk Talk post-rock feel. Both of them are getting a lot of listens right now at the Faux household.
Nilüfer Yanya “stabilise”: Yanya’s third album in four years is a nice collection of guitar-based indie-rock.
I’m not sure all of these artists are 100% retro soul acts, but these songs certainly fit into the category.
Boulevards “How Do Ya Feel” and Freedust “Heat”: See 3 Chunks of Funk
Cory Henry has dabbled in a variety of genres during his prolific career as a Hammond B3 Organ master, but his latest releases have moved more and more into the retro soul field. This latest single is coincidentally apropos in our current world situation. “Fighting For Peace”
I don’t know much about Shirley Davis and had never heard her before hearing this song, but she is deeply rooted in the ’70s soul of artists like Gladys Knight. This track is a great piece of positivity whose message would have been right on target fifty years ago as much as it is now. “Stay Firm”
The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble are an afro-funk, soul, and jazz instrumental group from San Diego. They’ve been around for about ten years, but I know little about them. They are labelmates with the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, and if this song is any indication they deserve more of my attention, as this is a stone cold, old school groove. “Step Down”
New Music by Old Artists
Elvis Costello has been recording since 1977 and is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This new album with his band The Imposters sounds like old school Elvis Costello. “Penelope Halfpenny”
Joan Jett has been recording since she was a member of The Runaways in 1976. She is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This new album is a collection of acoustic versions of songs originally recorded with her band The Blackhearts. “Bad Reputation (Acoustic)”
Tears for Fears have been recording since their debut single in 1981. They are icons of the early ’80s MTV era. Their new album, The Tipping Point, is just their seventh in over forty years, and their first in eighteen years. Fans know to herald this release as a gift from the heavens. “The Tipping Point”
The Pixies have been recording since 1987, except for a ten-year hiatus from 1993-2003. They are icons of the alternative rock movement of the late ’80s/early 90s and should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This new single is their first release in almost two years. Is there a new album coming? Fans can only hope. “Human Crime”
Belle & Sebastian have been recording since 1996. They spearheaded a new movement of sophisticated indie rock in the late ’90s and have a devoted cult following. Their new album A Bit of Previous, their first in three years, is due out in May 2022. Very exciting.
Animal Collective have been recording since 2000. They rose to indie-rock superstardom in 2009 with their album Merriweather Post Pavilion. Their new album Time Skiffs is their first in six years.
Shout Out Louds have been recording since 2003. They have focused their career on a 21st century melding of The Cure with a modern rock sensibility. Their new album House is their first in five years.
Artist of the Week: Stromae
Stromae became an international star in 2009 with the song “Alors on danse” and followed that success with a multi-million selling album called Racine carrée in 2013. Over the next few years he wrote a song that became the anthem for the Belgian football team, recorded with artists such as Kanye West and Lorde, and became the first French-speaking artist to sell out Madison Square Garden. In 2018, he started a fashion line and released his first single in three years, followed by a collaboration with Coldplay in 2019. In 2021, after another three-year break, he released his next single in honor of the dedication of the working class during the Covid pandemic. All of this is to say that he is an international superstar but has released very little music over his almost fifteen-year career, so the new release of his third album, Multitude, should be met with glee by all of his millions of fans. It is already on my list for best of 2022. The dance production of the songs that made him famous is still present on this new album, but his vocals are emphasized more than the groove on most of the songs. The last ten years have created a world-wide merging of music that is evident more and more in the music of many artists from around the world, in part due to the work of Stromae fifteen years ago. This new album is a perfect example and a beautiful piece of 21st century songwriting.
Let’s Take a Trip Around the World
Stromae “L’enfer”: Stromae is the Artist of the Week.
Ibibio Sound Machine “Protection From Evil”: This song is from the fourth album by this electronic funk band from England. Their vocalist Eno Williams was born in London but raised in her parent’s home nation, Nigeria. The band creates a mix of drum/bass and Afrobeat. The word Ibibio is the native language of the region where Williams’ family lived, the Akwa Ibom and Abia States of Nigeria.
Yaya Kim “Anger Is My Power”: Yaya Kim is a South Korean singer/songwriter who does not produce K-Pop. She has worked for over ten years to develop her own style in which she writes, arranges, and produces her own music. In addition, she is a graphic artist and she directs and produces her own videos, stage productions, and artwork for her releases.
Alina Bzhezhinska “Soul Vibrations”: Bzhezhinska, also known as Alina HipHarp, is a harpist who was born in Lviv, studied music throughout Europe, and currently lives in the UK. This is the first single from an album, Reflections, due out in the fall. The song is an adaptation of a Dorothy Ashby original.
Loboda “Vsyo Proidet”: Loboda was one of the original members of the Ukrainian girl-group Nu Virgos in the early 2000’s. She went solo in 2004 and has released dozens of recordings over the last fifteen-plus years. In 2009, she represented Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest, placing twelfth, and used her performance to speak out against domestic violence. Now a mother of two, she continues to release new music, including an album, Sold Out, in 2019, and this new single.
Go_A “Kalyna”: I talked about how much I love Go_A in last week’s show on the Music of Ukraine. This is a brand new song released to raise money to support the war being fought against russia. The kalyna, or guelder-rose, is an ancient Ukrainian symbol connected to the belief that a broken kalyna tree is a sign of tragedy. The tree is protected because it only grows next to good people and has the power to unite the people of Ukraine in any fight against evil. In addition, the red berry cluster of the tree is an insignia of the Ukrainian army.
Janet Manyowa “Vaudze”: Janet Manyowa is a Zimbabwean gospel singer who released three albums between 2015 and 2020. She is one of the most influential young musicians in her country and is a ranking member of the Zimbabwe Music Rights Association. This song is her latest single and hopefully means a full length fourth album will appear in the near future.
3 Chunks of Funk
Alina Bzhezhinska “Soul Vibrations”: See Around The World
Boulevards “How Do Ya Feel”: Jamil Rashad, aka Boulevards, has been producing some great retro-funk/soul/hip-hop for a few years but his new album, Electric Cowboy: Born In Carolina Mud, emphasizes his old school funk talents to full effect.
Freedust “Heat”: Freedust are from Spain and produced by Italian producer Daniele Carmosino. They have been around for a few years, and the title track to their new EP makes me smile.
A Little Jazz
Charles Goold “Lo’s Lament”: This is one of many great tunes from Goold’s debut album. He is a recent Julliard graduate, and the quintet he put together for this first release have created a fantastic introduction to this young drummer’s talents.
Brandee Younger “Unrest II”: This is the latest single for one of the best jazz musicians performing today.
Thanks for listening (and reading)!
|3||Wombats||Flip Me Upside Down|
|5||Elvis Costello & The Imposters||Penelope Halfpenny|
|6||Joan Jett & The Blackhearts||Bad Reputation (acoustic)|
|7||Cory Henry||Fighting For Peace|
|8||Shirley Davis||Stay Firm|
|9||The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble||Step Down|
|11||Yaya Kim||Anger Is My Power|
|15||Ibibio Sound Machine||Protection From Evil|
|16||Alina Bzhezhinska||Soul Vibrations|
|17||Boulevards||How Do Ya Feel|
|19||The Weather Station||Ignorance|
|20||Sharon Van Etten||Used To It|
|21||Black Country, New Road||The Place Where He Inserted The Blade|
|22||Belle & Sebastian||If They’re Shooting At You|
|24||Charles Goold||Lo’s Lament|
|25||Brandee Younger||Unrest II|
|26||Tears For Fears||The Tipping Point|
|29||Shout Out Louds||As Far Away As Possible|
|30||Kevin Morby||This Is A Photograph|
|31||Animal Collective||Strung With Everything|
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