Monday, October 23, 2017
Highlights from this week’s show:
“Baby Luv” — Nilufer Yanya
Simplicity — when it comes to melody and songcraft — can at times be more intoxicating than the production-heavy numbers requiring actual personnel or fancy editing capabilities. The most recent example would be “Baby Luv,” the new single from 22-year-old London-based artist Nilüfer Yanya. Her stateside breakout track possesses oodles of charm and more than a hint of what stateside audiences can expect as the buzz builds, especially with her first North American shows on the near horizon: New York’s Mercury Lounge on November 14 in New York and November 16 at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery’s Masonic Lodge in Los Angeles.
“If We Were Vampires” — Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit
If there’s a 2017 album that already has “Grammy” written all over it, look no further than The Nashville Sound from Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit. Upon its release, “Hope The High Road” morphed into an instant radio classic, and tracks like “Cumberland Gap,” “White Man’s World” and “Molotov” cemented Isbell’s reputation for blistering honesty and explosive riffs. So while The Nashville Sound boasts standouts a-plenty, it’s the tenderness of “If We Were Vampires” that makes it one of the brightest diamonds in the treasure trove, an exploration of the impermanence of life and immortality. “Maybe time running out is a gift.” It doesn’t get more nakedly honest than this. (FYI: if you missed Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit back in late September, they’ll be back at the Bomb Factory on January 5, this time with James McMurtry.)
“Shadows in the Dark” — Juke Ross
Well, it looks like 22’s the magic number today. And having the honor of being the first artist from the tiny South American nation of Guyana to be signed to a major record label goes to the 22-year-old former medical student and singer-songwriter Juke Ross. As he compiles songs for his forthcoming debut on Republic, “Shadows In The Dark” showcases rather nicely what caught the label’s attention and sprung them into action.
“…Baby One More Time” — Slothrust
Memories of last year’s Halloween Live Session with Slothrust had us jonesing for more, so when they dropped this cover of “…Baby One More Time,” we couldn’t resist giving it some on-air love. Leah Wellbaum takes Britney Spears’ Hot AC gem of yore to new heights, albeit with a lower register and blues-infused approach. Other remakes on the November 10 release Show Me How You Want It To Be include Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World,” “Sex And Candy” from Marcy Playground, Sam Cooke’s “Cupid” and “Electric Funeral” from Black Sabbath. Sold.
Inara George – “Young Adult”
Juke Ross – “Shadows In The Dark”
Django Django – “Tic Tac Toe”
Nicole Atkins – “Darkness Falls So Quiet”
Kele Okereke – “Streets Been Talkin’”
Odezsa & Leon Bridges – “Across The Room”
Nilufer Yanya – “Baby Luv”
Imagine Dragons – “Thunder”
Moon Taxi – “Two High”
Rogue + Jay – “Forces Of Decay”
Bedouine – “One Of These Days”
Kevin Morby – “City Music (Album Version)”
Phoebe Bridgers – “Motion Sickness”
Jake Bugg & Dan Auerbach – “How Soon The Dawn”