The 9:13 Buzz

 
Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of WYEP’s trusted music experts joins me (Cindy Howes) on The Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Jess Phaneuf from WUMB in Boston!

In case you missed it, here's what Jess played:

Aimee Mann "Goose Snow Cone" - I'm always pretty excited to hear what Aimee Mann has put together and it's been a little while since her last project, so I'm really looking forward to this album. So far, I'm digging the lovely sounds of this single, although I can't for the life of me figure out what a goose snow cone is!

Bell X1, "I Go Where You Go" - I've enjoyed bits of Bell X1 in the past, but this is the first full album from them that I've fallen in love with. I like to describe it as Bon Iver meets Dawes. This particular track is quite sweet and romantic.  

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Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of our most trusted music aficionados joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Justin Jacobs

In case you missed it, here's what Justin played (commentary by JJ):

Father John Misty, "Pure Comedy" - American needs Father John Misty right now. The weirdo folk star is prepping to release his third album in April, and in the meantime he's been dropping some golden nuggets of knowledge that we all should hear. "Pure Comedy" is best experienced along with the video linked below—it's an Elton John-esque explanation of how we, as a human race, have royally f****d ourselves over and let the dumbest among us take the lead. 

Southern Avenue, "Don't Give Up" - While that first track is a bit of a sobering downer, the new music coming from Mephis' Southern Avenue will lift you right back up. Led by Israeli guitarist Ori Naftaly, Southern Avenue was recently signed to Stax and sounds like it — this is pure, Memphis soul music to play at your next barbecue, house party, or even bus ride. Basically, if you need to feel lifted, this is your jam. 

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Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of Pittsburgh’s finest music writers joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Scott Tady!

In case you missed it here’s what he played with commentary by Scott:

Sloucher, "Certainty" - A tip of the hat to 90's alt-rock, with mildly distorted guitars in an early Wilco or The Lemonheads way. Just one of those songs that grabs and tugs you right away. The Seattle group describes its sound as "Not quite grunge, not really lo-fi, not very alternative, we're just a basement band." Hope they're headed here in 2017.

Communist Daughter, "Roll a Stone" - A menacing start leads to a cool gait and groove. The male-female vocal dynamic is moody and riveting. As a single it's accessible, but yields smaller treats with repeated listens. I've seen some New Pornographers comparisons. The band takes its name from a Neutral Milk Hotel song, which leads to the assumption their artistry is uncompromising. 

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Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of our most trusted music aficionados joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Patrick Bowman!

In case you missed, it here's what Patrick played: 

Little Simz, "Picture Perfect"British rapper Simbi Ajikawo, who records as Little Simz, is steadily on the up in the hip-hop world with a critically acclaimed debut album under her belt-- 2015's A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons-- and some impressive cosigns by the genre's biggest stars (reigning king MC Kendrick Lamar r said Simz “might be the illest doing it now.”) 

Now, at the beginning of 2017, Simbi has followed up A Curious Tale... with Stillness in Wonderland, a virtuoso rap odyssey that also happens to be a concept album about Alice in Wonderland. And while "Picture Perfect" isn't the trippiest song on the album, it's certainly the most fun, and shows Simbi having a blast and showing off her hook writing as well as her rhythmic, technical rapping.

 

Run The Jewels, "Down" feat. JoiRevered Atlanta-based MC Killer Mike and underground rap giant/Brooklyn-based MC and producer El-P have been collaborating under the name Run the Jewels since 2013. They released their third album RTJ3 to adoring fans on Christmas eve 2016, and like their previous two records, it's a shotgun blast of the wittiest, tightest battle rap you'll ever hear, hardened by a fiery social consciousness as well as moments of genuine reflection and heartache. This is the hip-hop we need in Trump's America.

"Down" is the track one from RTJ3 and it finds the duo taking a step back from their usual righteous fury, producing a heady groove of a song that feels like Mike and El are collecting themselves for future battle, parsing out what needs to be done and what past injustices need to be reconciled. The track sacrifices none of the trademarks that have made Run the Jewels who they are, but shows new dimensions to RTJ's formidable sound. 

 

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Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of WYEP’s trusted music experts joins me (Cindy Howes) on The Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Jess Phaneuf from WUMB in Boston!

In case you missed it, here's what Jess played:

Jesca Hoop, "The Lost Sky" - I've always admired the weirdness of Jesca Hoop's music and then last year's collaboration with Sam Beam (Iron &Wine) made me into an uber fan. Now I'm loving this new song from her forthcoming album... it's so bold and has so much raw emotion. If you really want to dig in, check out the music video, which is REALLY trippy.

Laura Marling, "Soothing" - I'm always impressed by everything Laura Marling puts out there. I'm especially excited to hear her produced by Blake Mills on the forthcoming release Semper Femina. He seems to be the hot new producer to work with these days, having just wrapped projects with Dawes and Jim James. Oh and he happened to produce the new Jesca Hoop album too! 

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Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of our most trusted music aficionados joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Justin Jacobs

In case you missed it, here's what Justin played (commentary by JJ):

Khalid, "Location" - This track came out back in spring of 2016, but it never became the big hit it should've. Though he's not even 20, Texas singer Khalid has the kind of voice that sounds wise and experienced. On this track, he's mixing neo-soul vocals with an echoing, outer space beat. It's the sound of the past and future fused into something that is very much now. 

Whitney, "No Woman" - Whitney was formed from the ashes of lo-fi rockers The Smith Westerns—the new sound is mellower, but even more likeable. The band's first album came out in mid-2016. "No Woman" is the perfect intro to Whitney, with it's eminently hummable melody that oozes the sort of hazy, confused, "Is this my life?" sentiment. Call it an anthem for not-yet-adults. 

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Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of WYEP’s trusted music experts joins me (Cindy Howes) on The Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Sarah Wardrop from WFUV in New York!

In case you missed, it here’s what she played:

Hurray for The Riff Raff, "Rican Beach" - Alynda Lee Segarra is an artist that understands the power of music, storytelling and speaking out, and she puts that combination into action with her band Hurray for the Riff Raff. "I'll keep fighting 'til the end" is the repeated lyric that ends this song, and it's an empowering, intriguing and percussive taste of what's to come on the new album, The Navigator, which is out March 10. 

Rose Cousins, "Chosen" - Rose's voice and songwriting chops can stand on their own, but she's a constant collaborator with an incredible ability – in and out of music – to bring people together. You can hear it in the harmonies of this song, which opens her new album Natural Conclusion (out February 3) and also features the production work of Joe Henry.

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Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of Pittsburgh’s finest music writers joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Scott Tady!

We asked Scott to bring in some of his top picks for 2016. In case you missed it here’s what he played with commentary by Scott:

Tady's #2 album for 2016 is Leonard Cohen from the album You Want it Darker

Music's poet laureate suspected his days were numbered as he sat down to write a swan song masterpiece. The lyrics are startling, urgent, uncompromising, confessional and packed with 82 years of wisdom, set to sparse arrangements offering both beauty and eeriness as on the title track, a dark rumination on the religious mind, blessed by the vocal harmonies of a Montreal synagogue choir. So many quotable lyrics ready to be recited and applied to our own lives as in "I was fighting with temptation, but I didn’t want to win" from this lovely track, "On The Level".

Tady's #1 of 2016 is Beach Slang, from A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings

Punk-rock urgency but still melodic -- in a Replacements-meets-Gaslight Anthem way -- with gravelly vocals that impart heart-on-the-sleeve grace and the wisdom of being an outsider or someone pondering life's big questions. Frontman James Alex wrote most of the songs after talking with the kids who bought the band's first album and came out to see the Philly band's correlating tour.  Though the feelings here span generation gaps, catering to those who simply yearn for hard, fast and purposeful punk and alt-rock that provides an adrenaline rush as on this selected tune, "Spin the Dial". Wouldn't be a bad thing if Beach Slang spawns a bunch of copy cat bands.

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Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of our most trusted music aficionados joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Patrick Bowman!

We asked Patrick to bring in his favorites of 2016. In case you missed, it here's what Patrick played: 

 
The Avalanches, "Because I'm Me" -
The Austrailian DJ collective/electronic music group dropped their sophomore album Wildflower earlier this year, off which I shared the vibe out "Colours," in an earlier buzz session, after a 16 year wait from when their groundbreaking debut Since I Left You came out in 2000.. 

"Because I'm Me" is the album's defacto opening track, and it's almost entirely focused around one amazing calssic 70s soul sample, the track "Want Ads" by the Honey Cones, a record that has been the secret weapon of DJs for years, and while I thought it had been used more often, "Because I'm Me" is actually the biggest song it's ever been featured on. The way the Avalanches use it is just really impressive, and then they stack the deck by featuring canonical Bronx hip-hop duo Camp Lo who have made a career of sounding cool as heck over 70s soul beats...they just slide on to the track and spit gorgeous verses completly locked in with the beat...it's a thing to behold.

 

Joey Purp, Cornerstore - The centerpiece from Joey Purp's insanely impressive iidrops mixtape he dropped this summer--arugably my favorite hip-hop release of the year--which is just this almost novel, headspinning, nostalgiac, tragic, and relevant, about a life living in the west side of Chicago, one of the most violent, impoverished inner city areas in the country. Joey's verse is almost stream of consciousness and gets more and more desperate and strained as the verse goes on, almost losing his breath, his compatriot Saba, another chicago native, also mirrors Joey's verse spitting off fragmented memories of living in an area where gun violence is an every day obstacle, drug dealing/gang membership is the major means of employment, and you gotta do what you gotta do to get off the block.

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Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of our most trusted music aficionados joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Justin Jacobs

We asked Justin to bring in his favorites from 2016. In case you missed it, here's what Justin played (commentary by JJ):

Mitski, "Your Best American Girl" - I wasn't thrilled with the state of indie rock this year — but there were certainly some great highlights (yeah, I see you Car Seat Headrest). That said, Mitski's album Puberty 2 gave me pause, and reinstated my faith in the power of a big, blowout chorus. Her track "Your Best American Girl" is a great track to blast from car speakers on after a long day: giant, crunchy guitars, frustrated lyrics, and a sing-along melody. Want to feel your heart ripped out of your chest? Watch the video. As Courtney Barnett is an Aussie, Mitski may just be our best American girl (of indie rock).

 

 Frank Ocean, "Ivy" - Frank mastered the hype machine of modern pop music with a 'Will he or won't he" release of his epic album Blonde. After a few false starts, he did, and it was every bit as aching and beautiful as we might have hoped. Along with Chance the Rapper, Beyonce, Anderson .Paak, and Kanye West, Frank proved that hip-hop and R&B were the most dominating and innovative genres of 2016, and made me super excited to see what rolls out next year. 

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