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Hi-Lo Jack (Dolapo Akinkugbe + Lawrence + Stolen Jars collab) unveils debut EP

Maybe the NYC indie scene has really entered a "post-white" phase, finally! When we started this blog back in 2004, indie rock, soul and hip hop really felt like separate scenes. The few notable exceptions, like TV on the Radio, paved the way to a rediscovery of soul music that reached maturity in the following decade, and that doesn't seem to slow down. Hi-Lo Jack, a collaboration between Dolapo Akinkugbe (of DAP The Contract), Clyde Lawrence (of soul-pop band Lawrence), and Cody Fitzgerald (of indie-rock band Stolen Jars, who graced our the cover of our last ever CMJ issue in 2015) is the latest NYC based project mixing the warmth of soul with the edge common to indie music. Check out single "So It Goes," streaming here.





New Power Animal Album Available for Streaming & Purchase

We've been enamored with the production abilities of Keith Hampson, who records and performs under the moniker of Power Animal, for years now. We remember receiving his early demos on CD-R (remember those!), and obsessively listening to the beautifully textured tracks on our headphones, in awe of the recordings' creativity and originality. We highly recommend that you grab yours and take Hampson's long-awaited, new album, Good Wind, Part. 1, for a spin below, and grab yourself a copy while you're at it because 50% of its Bandcamp sales will be donated to The Emergent Fund, "an organization launched in the wake of the 2016 election to support grassroots movements in marginalized communities." Enjoy!





gobbinjr's psychosocial drama takes stage at Mercury on 12.06

gobbinjr is the brainchild of Wisconsin native Emma Witmer, whose rawness and minimalism in 2016 EP vom night might bring to mind a more synthpop version of Frankie Cosmos. Atop self-produced tracks filled with ethereal synths floating over slow-pulsing drum machines, and bursting with a wide variety of influences, lay Witmer’s intensely antisocial lyrics (the irony being that the songwriting itself has become the vehicle for sociability). They paint a picture of a helplessly shy writer with the song as her one authentically viable communication outlet. Lines like “I feel creepy all the time / ‘cause I like everybody more than they like me” and “maybe we all end up in space / undeserving of this friendly place” serve as social critique cloaked in the aesthetic of teenage diary entries. In this light, vom night proves to masterfully balance the head and the heart, becoming a provocative witness of the times with a simple, pop-centered approach.

You can catch their next show on Wednesday, December 6th at Mercury Lounge. - Andrew Strader





Buzz Alert: NJ's Ehiorobo's experimental r'n'b at Escape the Routine party - Baby's All Right, 11.25

It's rare to stumble upon artists that blend tradition and experimentation, music's past and future, as seamlessly as New Jersey's avant-soul one man band Ehiorobo. Oringally from Nigeria, the guy writes and produces in his bedroom remarkably unpredictable r'n'b tunes that manage to also sound sincere and compelling. Alectronica, hip hop and jazz equally contribute to this sonic brew that never ceases to entertain. Don't miss Ehiorobo live at Baby's All Right on November 25, within the first appointment with the Escape the Routine parties, a Deli sponsored event! Tickets are here.





The 5th Annual Freakout! Fest comes back tonight

Triple city-based indie label Freakout Records has been churning out some pretty fine electronic, psych and lively rock from three out of the four corners of the states. Operating out of Seattle, Los Angeles and New York, Freakout has taken to occupying various venues in Ballard for its festival since 2012, with artists of their own catalog, as well as other artists scattered around the Northwest and the country. Freakout! Festival returns again tonight, and its bill is as stacked as ever.

Co-presented by The Stranger, Audioasis on KEXP and supported by Killroom Records, Treefort Music Fest and Artist Home Record Club, Freakout! Fest will be hitting up its usual Ballard staples like Conor Byrne and Tractor Tavern, with Sarah Gerritsen and Roadkill Ghost Choir kicking things off with some early sets. Tonight's hip hop will be fulfilled by up and coming lyricist Taylar Elizza Beth, with some dark stoner psych coming from Blackwater Holy Light. Energetically folky blues comes from Battleme, who are out on tour supporting their new Cult Psychotica release, while Charms and FKL bring more of a dancey feel to a couple of the headlining spots.

Much of Saturday's bill recalls a warmer, more carefree season thanks to some surf-drenched sets from Baywitch, The Shivas and Guantanamo Baywatch, The White Tears and Pearl Dragon is Dead are collaborating on their performance at the Conor Byrne, Porter Ray and Jus Moni killing it in the rhythm and rhymes department, and Kelli Schaefer and Maiah Manser representing for solo noir pop.

There's so many more acts to see, thank goodness they're all playing on the same street. You can find more information about the artists, venues and tickets over at the Freakout Records site.

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