Hailing from the Southside of Chicago with its history of steel mills and factories, singer/songwriter Travie Austin follows up 2019’s ‘Scrapbook’ with ‘Black and Blues’, nine tracks and 32 minutes of laid-back blues-inspired bops.
Like his hometown, “Black and Blues” is a melting-pot of influences. Infectious, soulful, and downright funky at times, Austin crosses genres with ease; as the title suggests, there’s a definite bluesy feel across the album, but this is interspersed with some tasty fusion piano breaks a la Brad Mehldau or Austin’s inspiration John Legend, and the Gary Clarke Jr. and Julian Lage-influenced guitar lines peppered between the electronic beats and breaks.
Austin showcases his versatility with some heavier riffage on ‘I Earned It’ and the Rodgers-style syncopation across ‘Funk Take Over’ and album closer ‘Final Get Down’. Overall, “Black and Blues” is classy and accomplished, uplifting and funky; you can hear the album on Spotify and check out Travie on his official website.
Jaløn Tyler proves himself to be a Gatsby who brings the party and a musical experience that is unexpected and definitely memorable. He successfully bumps against a variety of genres within this flawless offering from his album entitled ‘V.A.L.L.E.Y’. Refusing to be placed neatly in a box, he mercilessly breaks the rules in this genre-bending track and trips the light fantastic between hip-hop, samba, and RnB. Like a glass of cool water on a blazing day, this track is satisfying and fresh, and bound to raise many an eyebrow within the business.
Ohio is famous for birthing unique and gifted talents like John Legend and Bobby Womack so, the state can take heart that Jaløn is a young, shining representation of what they have to offer and, that his single ‘Kite’ is on parr with most of the great songs that have originated there. He moves back and forth comfortably between rapping and vocals with a surprisingly fluid ease. He floats on top of a track that is, honestly, divine. The beat is super fly and imaginative and I can’t wait to see what next for this hot, new talent.
Have a listen to ‘Kite’ by Jaløn Tyler on Spotify and let us know what you think. You won’t be disappointed.
Review by Susan Harriott
There are two types of maverick artists: the ones who adopt different styles as a way of switching costumes, and the ones who take a variety of musical concepts and subvert them wholly to their own ideas, and their own identities. Jamie Benkert is clearly the latter. Her new single aptly entitled, “Wasted Love,” is a musical conglomerate of creativity, passion, and breathtakingly beautiful interpretations of musical sensation.
The song couldn’t have a better title. The instrumentation employs a wide range of orchestrated sounds, dancing from subtle pop influenced patterns, to symphony infused arrangements, back to whimsical guitars yielding harmonious moments of both beauty and tension. The score is erupting with musical genius. Jamie’s voice dances all over this rhythmic beauty, her voice is boisterous, light hearted, and fun. I love the musical breaks, and the fun lyrics, I could easily hear this song blaring out of the speakers of a college dorm, suburban home, or just a teeny bopping teenage who knows good music. Solid track.