Blood Orange – Cupid Deluxe
After listening to the album’s first mysterious, yet embracing single “Chamakay,” I eagerly awaited the release of Blood Orange’s sophomore album. Dev Hynes, the man behind Blood Orange, has taken his experiences living in New York combined with a genre-crossing sense of creativity and created the groovy, soulful, fresh album that is Cupid Deluxe. The album borrows from the traditions of Soul, R&B, Hip-Hop, Funk, and decades of Pop in order to build a multi-faceted work. Throughout the album, passionate songs discuss love and the problems that can follow. A few such as “On the Line” and “Always Let U Down” feature a complimentary woman’s voice that wraps the listener in the artists’ qualms with beautiful harmonies. “Uncle Ace” and “You’re Not Good Enough” transport the listener back to the funky side of the ‘80s while tracks such as “Clipped On” and “High Street” are filled with immersive hip-hop beats and robust, relevant lyrics. What I’m trying to get at is that this album is crisp, heartfelt, and honest is definitely worth a listen, no matter what kind of music you gravitate towards.
RIYL: Solange, Toro y Moi, Rhye
-Jack Fitzpatrick, Soul Beat on Wednesday 8-10 a.m.
D33J – Gravel
Producer and WeDidIt Collective member D33J delivers some very chill downtempo electronic music on his new four-track EP. On opening track “Faded Creek,” he sets a very slow and mellow place pervading the rest of the release. Echoing disembodied voices combine with skittering keys, ambient noise and a simple kick and snare. Frenzied hi-hats and distorted synth build up the track halfway through, along with some singing by D33J himself. The equally syrupy “Slow” features vocals by “friend and neighbor” Kreyola over spacey synths and a deliciously booming kick. D33J’s voice is supplemented by a repeating sample. The sample manipulation repeats on the slightly faster “Empty Sunset,” bringing an end to an effort that is short, sweet and smooth.
RIYL: Ryan Hemsworth, Tokimonsta, Mount Kimbie
-Rafael Smith, The Funk Box on Wednesday 4-5 p.m.
Mutual Benefit- Love’s Crushing Diamond
Mutual Benefit is Jordan Lee, a man on the move whose delicate debut album details the emotions and experiences of his past few years. Treasure first Lee’s raw falsetto, which when present, sends shivers down the warmest spine. There is no core instrumentation here, but rather an intricate fabric of banjo, guitar and strings dyed with tiny sounds of memories. Those smallest sounds (faint wind chimes, analog recordings, piano, recorder, little bells and organic percussion) are like the stains of specific events, gone but not forgotten. Each of the album’s seven tracks mesmerizes like the curious simplicity of snow globes and music boxes – when the magic is over, you will shake it and twist the gears to get it going again. And again.
RIYL: Sufjan Stevens, Seabear, Akron/Family, The Microphones, The Antlers
-Molly Pfeffer, Velvet Sessions on Tuesday at 6-8 p.m.
DJ Rashad – Double Cup
DJ Rashad is a Chicago-based music producer. Rashad’s music is characterized by layered samples and 808 beats to create complex polyrhythms. From these elements Rashad is able to create an amazing variety of song styles, from pounding, fast-paced dance tracks like “Acid Bit” to laid-back funk on “Feelin.” The first half of the album has a more experimental feel, and alternates behind disjointed and sublime. The latter half settles into simpler beats, which feel more comfortable and danceable to the listener. The overall production feels very lo-fi, giving the music a dirty underground, DYI aesthetic that can be very appealing to some, and very off-putting to others. If you are looking for squeaky-clean, hook-driven, glitzy EDM, look elsewhere. If you want grimey, tripped out beats for a drug-fueled basement dance party, DJ Rashad might be your answer.
RIYL: DJ Slugo, DJ Chip, DJ Gant-Man
-Andrew Jordan, WVAU Staff
Fortress Social Club – Make Love, Not Babies
Fortress Social Club wears their influences on their sleeves; depending on the song their singer sounds either like a garage rock Mick Jagger or psychedelic era John Lennon. Unlike some garage/psych bands that get caught up in their own fuzz, Fortress Social Club actually put some attitude and personality behind their songs, feature the frantic boy/girl shouting/singing style that evokes Grouplove. Sometimes, their time-warped hippy shtick can get annoying, especially on “Grow Your Own,”, but when it works, it works pretty well. While most of their songs are psychedelic rock, they have some fun stylistically, evoking psych’s garage rock roots on the first two tracks, and even serving up a surprising acapella doo wop diddy with “Back Together.” Fortress Social Club are best when they’re at their sweetest, such as on “Back Together” and on other love songs “Wherever She Go” and “I’m Not a Praying Man, but…” “Make Love, Not Babies” may be a little messy at points, but it’s a pretty fun record to sit back and indulge in your 1960s golden age syndrome.
RIYL: Foxygen, The Black Angels, The Beatles
-Michael Lovito, Truth, Justice and the American Way on Wednesday 11 a.m.-12 p.m.