Nailah Howze/Jackie Radinsky/Henry Hanky/Jesse Lirola/Maclay Heriot/Ralph Ordaz On The Up is back after a short break, once again highlighting five...
On The Up is back after a short break, once again highlighting five new artists you should be listening to this month. September’s picks jump from a surging Bay Area R&B singer to a new face on the Brazilian music scene signed to Stones Throw Records. Fans of Big Thief will be hyped on one of our picks, while a dizzying LA rapper and rising Aussie psych-pop group round out September’s group. Check ’em out and listen in below.
We’ve been featuring some of Zyah Belle’s tracks in our Best New R&B column dating back to when the Bay Area singer signed with Guin Records last year and dropped the silky Who’s Listening Anyway EP. She hasn’t let up in 2022 and has her album, Yam Grier, set to drop on September 9th. “Not The One” beams with some serious mystique from her and LA rapper Tempest, while “DND” is armed with a sultry, electro-R&B bounce. Named after ’70s blaxploitation film queen Pam Grier (who also starred in Quentin Tarantino’s 1997 cult classic, Jackie Brown), Yam Grier sees Belle channeling that alpha woman energy Grier made famous on the silver screen and she says the album is, “The embodiment of a woman who has finally come into her own, unapologetically.”
When Brazil’s Gabriel Da Rosa arrived in LA eight years ago, he was armed with a guitar, a backpack, a dog, and a rock and roll dream. Where he’s at today looks very different — well, at least musically. The latest signee to the always-eclectic Stones Throw Records label, Da Rosa is making music in the mold of the Brazilian samba, bossa nova, and tropicalia greats. On his debut single, “Jasmim Parte 1,” that uncanny breezy guitar, pairs with lush Wurly keys, bossa horns and a gorgeous Brazilian sidewalk flute. In the song’s video, the avid vinyl collector flips through records from legends like Joao Gilberto, Novos Baianos, Gal Costa, etc… and if any of those names mean something to you, you’re gonna want to press play on “Jardim Parte 1” stat.
We’ve got a soft spot for so many artists on Austin’s indie workhorse label Keeled Scales. Acts like Sun June, Why Bonnie, and Katy Kirby are helping shape the label’s roster and now Chicago’s Tenci are pushing towards their second album on the imprint. A Swollen River, A Well Overflowing is due out on November 4th, and lead single “Two Cups” showcases singer/bandleader Jess Shoman’s imaginative arrangements and inviting vocals that harken to Adrianne Lenker’s distinct range.
LA’s off-kilter art rap scene has always rested on the foundations of MCs dropping stream-of-consciousness raps that in actuality, aren’t that at all. For these cats are just delightful, highly-intelligent weirdos with a microphone and a lot to say. Rhys Langston is one of these artists and the POW Records-signee has a sharp-tongued, verbose approach that comes across as trippily as smashing melons on the shores of the La Brea tar pits. The Sufjan Stevens-esque-titled “I Will Stop At Nothing (I A Magnetized And I Move!)” is a spiraling display of wordsmithery, as Langston spits in a controlled fury, “And my voice box full of stuffing, dressings, fixings / MacGuyver’d, Epoxy, aluminum wire. Ready-made, sculpted tableau portmanteau…” His album Grapefruit Radio is set to drop on September 14th and also features Jersey’s Fatboi Sharif, LA mainstay The Koreatown Oddity, and others.
In a most unusual, but wholly welcome collaboration last year, Jaden Smith guested on the sunny, shore-break airiness of Babe Rainbow’s “Your Imagination.” It was another high-profile co-sign for the Aussie psych-y surf pop band following a release on Danger Mouse’s 30th Century Records and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s Stu Mackenzie producing their debut. Now the group are pushing towards a new album as tunes like “Smash The Machine” have grown increasingly more psychedelic. It’s no surprise that their upcoming tour begins on Sept 30th at SoCal’s buzzy, psych rock-focused (but still eclectic) Desert Daze festival alongside Tame Impala, King Gizzard, and Sky Ferreira.
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