September, our beloved ninth month of the year, conclusion of summer and gateway to Fall has given us a lot to be excited about musically. September was headlined by an incredible solo album release from Alabama Shakes frontwoman, Brittany Howard; an exciting, eclectic, and exploratory third LP from Atlanta-native duo, EARTHGANG; another venture into the mind of Joe Armon-Jones, with his second LP, Turn to Clear View; the pensive and lyrically gifted, IDK, and his debut album, Is He Real?. September has also featured singles from Sam Sparro (Featuring We Are King), Free Nationals, Supernova, and others.
Below are some of our favorite songs from September, and a little about why we love them! As always we hope you find a song you like, and check out the entire project! Songs 1 - 13 were selected by me, Stanley, and songs, 14 - 24 were selected by Kevin!
Prior to Kindness’ LP, Something Like A War, I had no idea who Kindness was. And with a stage name like “Kindness”, there’s always that moment of confusion, like is this a band or a solo act? But, thanks to Dev Hynes, aka Blood Orange’s, instagram post I was introduced to the world of Kindness, a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, DJ, and producer. Kindness’ music sits at the intersection of the pulsating rhythms of House, the harmonic structures of R&B, and the experimentation of Electronic music. Without a doubt, their music makes you want to move. In particular, Kindness’ Raise Up, does all of the above, with a driving kick drum, an acoustic piano, and horns, Kindness’ vocals soar over the music, all making for an incredibly funky groove.
These descriptions will solely be about me talking about the artists I am in the tank for. EARTHGANG is at the top of that list. I’ve been riding with these guys for a minute now and their latest project did not disappoint. They have been compared to Outkast for obvious reasons (eclectic, being a duo from Atlanta, etc.) but I think they are Atlanta in their way. They have taken from many of Atlanta’s forefathers/mothers but have created their own aesthetic and energy. I appreciate the authenticity and, of course, music.
Stanley: Free Nationals (Featuring JID, Kadhja Bonet, and MIKNNA) — On Sight
Alright, enough is enough. Where’s the album at, Free Nationals? While the Free Nationals are mostly known as the backing band for Anderson .Paak, in recent months they have been unhurriedly, but pragmatically, releasing single after single. First, was Beauty and Essex, which featured Daniel Caesar and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, followed by Time, which featured Kali Uchis and the late, Mac Miller - both of which have garnered nearly 14 million and 10 million streams, respectively, on Spotify. Free National’s latest single, On Sight, which features, JID, Kadjha Bonet, and MIKNNA, once again, puts on display the band’s versatility and skilled production talents. But, please, just give us the album!
Kevin: Berhana — Lucky Strike
The tank is being prepared for me with Berhana. I liked his previous project, Berhana but I was on the fringes of truly diving in. The latest string of singles he has dropped for his upcoming album, HAN has showed growth and a slight change of direction musically. The grooves, bass lines and musical range have seemed to increase exponentially.
Stanley: Brittany Howard —Baby
Prominently known as the lead singer for the soul band, Alabama Shakes, Brittany Howard has taken a step away from the band to do her own music, and I’m glad she did. In an interview on Beats 1, Howard noted that she wanted more control of the creative process, and a change of scenery so to speak. Brittany Howard’s debut solo album, Jaime, shows a level of vulnerability that was not as present in her work with Alabama Shakes, while also showing the artists compositional capabilities. This song in particular, Baby, starts as a slow burning groove between the drums, guitar, and bass, where the song ultimately crescendo’s into revival type howls, as the acoustic piano comps on the two-chord progression.
Another guy I’m in the tank for and I can honestly say I’ve never seen him or heard him speak. I stumbled across his music and he lit the flames of my Alternative music loving heart. He blends genres and sounds so well. sir Was also has this thing where he makes songs sound grand, like an experience. I’m in the tank.