Music is why we do this. Nothing feels better than finding a new artist. It doesn’t matter how you land on them, it’s just an incredible thing when you do. To go from something you have never heard before, to having it resonate so deeply that you keep it on repeat is a natural high. It’s even better when they fly in the same circles as artists you already love. The possibilities for collaboration are enough to get your blood pumping.
I took Roon Radio for a spin and figured I would write about the very first new artist I came across. I was not expecting such a chill find within the first few familiar songs. Etta Bond’s #Bad4Me is a slow jam tale of vices and reflection. We’re all guilty of doing things that feel good in the moment but may not be in our best interest long term….
like buying into high end audiophile gear. Alongside these vices, she touches on the complex nature of being in a relationship that gives her a high, but comes with more lows than may be worth it. A delicate topic delivered in a way you can still vibe without overthinking. I was enthused to get to more of her music, but ultimately found it wasn’t for me. It happens. This track resonated for some reason. Her other work is wonderful, but it wasn’t part of what I was feeling at the time. As paradoxical as it sounds, I love that about music. Everything isn’t for everyone, so it makes you appreciate it when you find something that is. Even if it’s just a taste.
DOMi & JD Beck are a duo brought to my attention while talking to a friend about Thundercat. While their appearances are unassumingly quirky, take one look at the track list and you know something is going on. The album NOT TiGHT features Thundercat, Mac DeMarco, Herbie Hancock, Anderson .Paak, Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and even Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. All artists that are either legends in their own right, or musicians I have in rotation often. Something was going on here and I needed to find out exactly what that was.
LOUANA’S iNTRO is a light, airy, string-heavy prelude to what I can only describe as everything I love about music. Throughout the album, there’s jazz, funk, drum & bass, R&B, Hip-Hop, etc... So many different, yet complementary genres blending together. BOWLiNG is the track that brought me here. As much as it is a DOMi & JD BECK song, it is quintessentially Thundercat. The intense bass licks, the smooth, ethereal vocals… this is my jam. His influence continues in the song the album was named after, NOT TiGHT. TWO SHRiMPS brings us Mac DeMarco vocals and some more acid-jazz-like flavor. It was at this point I realized my feet are not still. They’re tapping and bouncing all over the place to the point where I can feel fatigue in my toes. U DON’T HAVE TO ROB ME is a fun one. It has a pop-like cadence and enough intricate things going on in the melody that I would need a music theory degree to explain them.
MOON fights for the spot as my favorite track on the album. Herbie Hancock and Anderson .Paak throw down and it’s magic. The piano got my head bobbing. The vocals took me for a smooth ride over a bridge where the sun was setting, and the breeze was warm. It’s hard not to talk about every single track, but I will skip ahead a bit to PiLOT. This song ultimately won the battle for my favorite. It’s too good. It isn’t even about the names on the feature list. It’s everything. I don’t always focus on where artists are from, but the vibe is so west coast. Snoop Dogg and Busta Rhymes drop some incredibly smooth bars. Anderson .Paak also does his patented raspy-silk delivery. It should not be possible to do what that man does. This album introduced me to some INCREDIBLY talented artists. They took artists I know and love and presented them with a freshness I have not felt in a long time. I truly hope this is only the beginning for DOMi & JD BECK.
I recently encountered a duo called Yorushika, and listened to a few of their newer singles. Left-Right Confusion has such relaxing movements across the track, especially after the light and soft opening with suis’ vocals. The folly and guitar scattered about is reminiscent of that time you were sitting in a room, prepared for something and anticipating the start. Accompanying drums capture the comfy size of the room. Another song I heard, Bremen, is such a bop. This carries a much happier tone with more intimate and stronger vocals, an upbeat guitar lead, and playful piano. Both of these were pleasant surprises but my favorite is Howl At The Moon, which has such an interesting and understated sound. Later on there's a kind of downward spiral that I really wasn’t expecting which only intrigued me more to learn more about the duo. They seem to be pretty private, without any apparent social media besides their website.
Speaking of downward spirals; what a crazy ride Rum Pum Pum was emulating such distinct genres within one track. Lee Jin Ah created a song that has so much to pay attention to, I could hardly afford to lose focus throughout the journey. It fuses together a mix of jazz, R&B and a shredding metal guitar in such a unique package. Also, the music video is pretty trippy, you can check it out here.
One of my last great finds recently is an R&B pop song (my favorite genres of course) by former IZ*ONE member Kang Hye-won featuring Stella Jang called Like a Diamond. The simple yet fleeting vocal melody sequence is neat, but the best part was when I first heard their voices singing together. It harmonizes so well, and is just plain addicting. Furthermore, both of these artists are worth checking out just on their own. Please tune in and hear it for yourself.
No matter what, there's always that initial eureka moment when a new song just hits right. That feeling is one of the big parts of why we love discovering music. Without it, things would easily get stale and boring.