I know, I know, I know, I know. It’s been a long time. I shouldn’t have left you…you can finish the rest. But I come bearing gifts! I’ve decided to share some of the great stuff I’ve been listening to this summer. The best part is all of this stuff is free. That’s right, the gods of independent artists and the internet have conspired to grace us with free, awesome aural goodness! Honey, I have been jammin,’ you hear me? In fact, I’m going to use that as the excuse for why I’ve been away for so long. If that isn’t acceptable, I’m evoking the fifth amendment. But enough of that. Let’s get into it, shall we?
Durand Bernarr, 8ight: The Stepson of Erykah Badu
I came across Durand on earthSista Eclectic Alexandria’s tumblr page. And what a delight! This young man has a vocal range and approach to music that is going to make him one to watch. I dare you to listen and not fall in love. Make note of the fact that he created all of this on his MacBook. God bless the child who’s got his own, indeed. I don’t know the whole story, but somehow Erykah found out about his awesomeness and took the brotha on tour with her. Well-deserved. Get his mixtape here and visit his YouTube page for more.
Ari Lennox, Five Finger Discount
Here’s where we go down the rabbit hole. Durand’s got a song featuring a young singer named Courtney Saltzer, who I found just as captivating. I did a little digging, and I discovered that she now goes by Ari Lennox. She’s jazzy, bluesy, rock-inflected and, like Bernarr, one to watch. Get her album here.
Stacey Barthe, Sincerely Yours
My Twitter timeline started buzzing a couple weeks ago about this new EP, and I must say, I’m glad I decided to check it out. Barthe’s singing and songwriting ability are on full display. This is where R&B is heading. Barthe’s been behind the scenes as a songwriter for a while, so she’s on your radar, whether you realize it or not. Get it here.
Mara Hruby, From Her Eyes
This collection of (mostly) covers from Hruby is the perfect showcase for her angelic soprano. My personal faves are “Send It On,” “Character,” and her original track, “The Panties,” which is much less explicit than the title suggests. Download it here. (h/t to SoulBounce)
Applejac, Playin’ Favorites
This recently released compilation from DJ, producer and music junkie Applejac includes features from Reggie B and Carmen Rogers, amongst others, and is the perfect playlist to a breezy Sunday afternoon. Check him out here.
Now, that is a truckload of good stuff. Happy listening!
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