Bandcamp Picks of the Week 4/19/17
You! Me! Bandcamp Picks of the Week!
The Freecoasters – SHOW UP
Genre: Reggae, Rocksteady
Favorite Tracks: “Keep Moving,” “I Don’t Even Know,” “Little Havana,” “I Can Sleep When I’m Dead”
The core musical element of reggae, that offbeat, stiff rhythm that has been copy-and-pasted seemingly thousands of times, has always gotten on my nerves, but SHOW UP rises above this initial massive strike against it with strong performances and heavy influences from early soul music. The organ, guitar, and piano riffs are breezy but tight, the steel drums have a crisp crackle to them, and the production is the perfect middle ground of pop polish and rawness. However, all of this is secondary compared to lead vocalist Claire Liparulo, who delivers what would be a star-making performance in a just world. Her expressiveness and control are something to behold and match with varying tempos, with a soulful croon that imbues even inane syllables with meaning and a confrontational, self-assured attitude that infects the listener. I can only imagine how great it would sound live, and the fact that this is only their full-length debut fills me with anticipation for what they might do in their future. If you ever wanted to hear what soul music could have sounded like if it originated in Jamaica, you can listen to it here. [Blake Michelle]
jinsang – LIFE.
Genre: Instrumental Hip Hop
Favorite Tracks: “Affection,” “Tunnel Vision,” “Bliss” “Reflection”
All too often, instrumental hip hop albums embrace their hip hop tendencies to an excessive degree. California producer jinsang, however, embraces lush beauty. LIFE. is a lengthy beat tape that manages to never feel boring. Instead, it is a wonderful soundtrack to a blissful day in nature that effortlessly combines laidback samples with propulsive beats. Though the beat tape is entirely instrumental, it would serve as the perfect background for a rapper’s laziest flow. The track “Bliss” is a perfect example of LIFE.’s duality as both a hip hop and chillout album. It features a blissful sample with a rocking beat beneath it. Though it is brief and mellow, it is also head-bopping and propulsive. Though this feeling is best exemplified by the aforementioned track, it is a feeling that is present throughout the entire album, which feels incredibly cohesive from start to finish. Though beat tapes have started to feel redundant and often oversaturated in the past few years, LIFE. stands out from the pack. Jinsang is one of the best producers of his genre, and LIFE. is a perfect example of why. Take a chill pill with jinsang’s music here. [Ted Davis]