Browsing Tag

Soul Funk

The claws are out in Harmonical’s latest single, Cat on Heat, featuring Élan Noelle

It has been a phenomenal run for the effortlessly distinctive RnB artist Harmonical (AKA songwriter & producer James Stretten) with his cinematically contemporary songs appearing on the credits of Hollyoaks and constantly spun on BBC Introducing.

His latest single, Cat on Heat, featuring the enrapturing robust vocals of Washington RnB soul singer, Élan Noelle, is yet another reason to fall head over heels for his funk-riding euphonic sonic signature.

With a narrative as compelling as the Copacabana, the lyrics in Cat on Heat are almost enough to bring out the popcorn. The dynamic that the lyric “she’s my best friend, but she is like a cat on heat” sets up a scenario that most will be able to relate to.

The music video to Cat on Heat premiered on August 11th. Check it out for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: You’ve gotta ‘Feel It’ for yourselves in MDMelo & Francis’ standout electronic soul single.

With its kicking beat, shimmering sonics and the effortless resonance of Francis’ vocals, MDMelo’s title single from his collaborative album, Feel It, rhythmically commands you into an evocative appreciation for the aural delivery of oxytocin.

It has been a while since we have heard funk-riding electronic beats with such deep seductive grooves; the euphoric aesthetic of the collaboration is nothing short of electrifying. The zealously infectious track marries old school soul with new-age electronica to achieve an uplifting effect that can scarcely be put into words; you just have to feel the disco synthetics up against the funk, soul and RnB textures for yourselves.

Here is what MDMelo had to say on his latest collaboration with vocalist, Francis

“Feel It, featuring Francis, is a breakthrough for me; it was a long-term project which focuses on production, composition, harmony, groove and sonics. My main objective is to make sure that Francis gets the notoriety he deserves; he transformed my music world.”

Watch the official music video for Feel It, which dropped on the 20th of May 2022, via YouTube.

Before the release of the 11-track soul album, Feel It, in May 2022, MDMelo & Francis caught up with A&R Factory. Check out the A&R Video Interview with MDMelo and Francis here.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Archpalatine delivered riotously seductive soul in their latest single, Hypnotized

Riotous and seductive aren’t usually adjectives that you would see side by side, but the histrionic cosmic soul outfit Archpalatine defies convention in a myriad of ways. Especially through their latest single, Hypnotized, taken from their upcoming third album.

The after-effects of Hypnotized are just as sweet as the timeless sonic experience itself. You’d need a considerable concussion to forget the sweetness in the strident vocal hooks and the cinematic old school soul that lingers in the alchemically arranged funk-blistered instrumentals.

Few artists have what it takes to capture visceral emotion so concisely and euphorically, but notably, that wasn’t a concern for the Philadelphia-based soul-pop powerhouse which has been steadily gaining traction since forming in 2018. There’s nothing like the real thing, and they’re soulfully just that.

Here is what Archpalatine had to say about their latest release.

“Written in a dream on Valentine’s Day, Hypnotized represents the wonderfully woozy feeling you get when you are on the dancefloor and someone you’ve been eyeing all night gives you a taste of their amazing energy and chemistry.

We’ve all been there. And once you enter that zone, they are the only person to exist in the building. The message is one of fun, joy, and letting everyone know that some styles of music are timeless. All art forms, songs are up for interpretation, but the feeling of timeless music is transcendent.”

Hypnotized is now available to stream on all major platforms via this link.

Follow Archpalatine on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Polyphonic Exophilia – ups et pertulerat: a progressive soul-funk serenade.

Vol. 2 by Polyphonic Exophilia

Norway-hailing music collective, Polyphonic Exophilia, describe their sound as sensual progressive alternative soul-funk, and it’s fair to say, if any bassline is going to leave you weak at the knees it is the one in the standout single, ups et pertulerat, from their EP, Vol.2.

Ups et pertulerat is the Latin phrase for ups and downs, and that’s exactly what the soundscape explores; if you constantly find yourself between mania and melancholy, you may just find that your tumultuous mind reflected at you through this exploratively engaging release.

The jazzy, tonally warm instrumental single is all about the bass-carved grooves and the colourful alchemy that breaths between them. It leaves you in anticipation of what the next progression will offer as the shimmering polyphonic keys bring the soul in the absence of vocals.

Check out Polyphonic Exophilia on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hatty Keane – Big soul groove at ‘Club 69’

‘This one goes out to the Fashionistas’….and oh, yes. It most certainly does. With a gloriously old-school drum machine pattern and the most sublime disco-soul groove, ‘Club 69’ instantly transports you back to the height of the 1970’s dance era. Think big hairstyles, big beats, and a big, mirror-ball lit dancefloor; Donna Summer, Anita Ward, Thelma Houston, and Gloria Gaynor are all here in spades. Funky wah-wah guitar, retro-as-anything synth strings, and a bass that literally forces you to dance, Keane really has hit every note – both vocally and metaphorically – absolutely perfectly. There is some serious soul power in her voice, and for sure the track is artfully arranged and put together, but overall – and most importantly – this is one seriously fun record. Get up, get down, and get to ‘Club 69’.

Check out ‘Club 69’ on Spotify; follow Hatty Keane on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes

Oscar Soul Experience has released their tribally entrancing soul-funk jazz fusion single ‘What You Want’

‘What You Want’ is the latest tribally entrancing soul-funk jazz fusion release from Oscar Soul Experience which will send you back to when we used to assume that virtuosic artists sold their soul to the devil in exchange for their emotively rhythmic prowess.

Their vibrant jazz improv style pairs with fervently animated vocals which feel almost sermonic through the way they share the infectious energy as you listen to the unpredictably galvanising single run through. Oscar Soul Experience is to soul what Jim Jones was to cults.

The live recording of What You Want may fill you with envy for those lucky enough to find themselves in that room watching alchemic synergy spill between the powerhouse of artists, but mostly, you’ll find yourself gratified for the discovery for the exceptional ensemble.

You can check out the official video which released on January 25th for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Sir Jeremy Green – on a deep, soulful Motown ‘Cruise’

If Marvin Gaye hadn’t fatally intervened in his parents’ argument in 1984 and had, instead, continued making music, it might have sounded very much like Sir Jeremy Green on new single ‘Cruise’, a deep, classy nu-soul cut that simply oozes with class.

Mixing up a little of the retro, sexual, sensual ‘70’s Motown vibe with a modern take and a little bit of 90’s Brand New Heavies, a little jazzy funk, and just enough old-skool hip hop beat to add some groove, ‘Cruise’ is an absolute dope stunner of a track, Green’s rich, smooth vocal perfect over the top of a full-on retro track, all movie-soundtrack (like the accompanying official video), Rodgers-style funk off-beat guitar and Rhodes-style electric piano stabs. And then there’s that bassline, before the track resolves to drop into grooving-yet-chilled middle eight and breakdown.

‘Cruise’ is the first single from Green’s new EP; if the rest is as good as this, 2021 is going to be a VERY good year for Sir Jeremy Green.

See the awesome video for ‘Cruise’ on YouTube. Follow Sir Jeremy Green on Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes


A taste of nostalgia – Honey Made’s ‘Brand New’ may be the real meaning of ‘soul food’

From the opening few bars of ‘Brand New’, the latest single from Austin, Texas, funk/soul groove-merchants Honey Made, it’s impossible to stop toes or fingers tapping and heads nodding; a delicious, salacious, warm and mellow slice of beautiful nostalgic funk in the vein of Sly Stone, Curtis Mayfield, or Marvin Gaye.

The honeyed (pun very much intended) vocal duetting of vocalists Willie Barnes and Donald Ford Jr. is silky smooth, deep, rich, and velvety – the superlatives just go on and on; the musicianship across the board is sublime, the bass and played-around-the-beat drums of Lee Braverman and Chris Barnes absolutely in the pocket, sitting together like only the very best soul and R&B rhythm sections can, the keys, sax, and horns absolutely perfect and mutually complimentary across the whole track.

This is contemporary-yet-old-school funk/soul at its absolute best; there’s no other way around it, ‘Brand New’ really is exquisite.

You can check out ‘Brand New’ over on Soundcloud now, or follow Honey Made on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes

Let Cliff Beach take you to church with their latest single ‘Black Moses’

Any artist who can compel you to contort a grin with the first vocal note is worth their weight in aural gold, admittedly, that doesn’t happen all too often, so you may as well hit play on Cliff Beach’s latest single Black Moses.

Cliff Beach may not have had Trent Reznor producing his track, but there are plenty of reminiscences in Black Moses and Saul Williams’ hit Black Jesus. The same playful enigmatic attitude runs through, but with Black Moses, there are lashings of Funk found in the chorally compelling tones which will take you to church as the high-vibe hit unfolds.

You can check out Black Moses for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

TreWay and The Now Generation has made their sultrily playful Alt Jazz Funk debut with “Roll Play”

TreWay and The Now Generation have made their debut with the eccentric soul-southing single “Roll Play”. Good vibes don’t come much more infectious than the ones than you’ll find in this insanely progressive soundscape.

Soul, Jazz, Hip Hop and Funk all converge in the instantly enamouring track which definitely wasn’t orchestrated to beg for mainstream appeal. Instead, you’ll get to ingest the high-energy creativity of TreWay and The Now Generation.

Roll Play may be like nothing you’ve ever heard before and time signatures may have been thrown out of the window, but thanks to the soul which was thrown into the sultry playful mix, it’s all too easy to ease into the grooves.

With vocal reminiscences with everyone from Saul Williams to Pharrell to Kanye, it’s safe to say that TreWay has one of the most versatile vocal dynamics we’ve heard in a while. We can’t wait to hear what comes next.

You can check out Roll Play for yourselves by heading over to Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast