So I was struggling with what to write about for this edition of “Soundcheck.” It’s not because I haven’t been inspired; it’s just that I wanted to do something a little different. Between the creative ways independent artists are making videos on shoestring budgets, to the mass of HD recordings of live performances out there, we can all experience the music we love with more than our ears. So let’s have a little video-fest, shall we?
Why not kick things off with a little Badu? I had the pleasure of seeing her live earlier this year, and she gave me everything I needed and more. However, due to time constraints, I didn’t get to hear all of “Humble Mumble.” While I plan to see her again, this YouTube clip should me over. If you haven’t seen Badu and her (freakin’ amazing) band live, add it to your Bucket List. And do it sooner rather than later. Odds are, you’ll be wanting to see them more than once.
The soul scene down under doesn’t necessarily get a lot of press stateside, but make no mistake, it’s booming. Bella Kalolo hails from New Zealand, and to say she has pipes is an understatement. Watch her sing “Mamas’s Eyes,” an ode to her late mother, below, and then check out her soulful, funky debut album, Without the Paper.
Nothing like sitting back with your boo, passing a fat one back and forth. Iman Omari’s Energy album was on a lot of “Best of the Year” lists last year, and with good reason. The video for “Worth It” is a simple scene: he sits on a stool, presumably passing a spliff back and forth with his girl. They embrace passionately. End scene. What’s remarkable is the way the coloring and simplicity of the video are so reflective of the album. The green tint, and dark tones are the perfect visual representation for his sound. Watch below, and download the album. It’s free!
Our next low-budget feature is from two of my favorite artists, so maybe I’m biased. Georgia Anne Muldrow recruited Bilal for “More and More,” a gospel-inflected song about finding and loving yourself and your community that everyone can sing along to. It’s fitting that the video features everyday folks of all kinds (and quite a few from what looks like a natural hair function). What it lacks in budget, it makes up for with charm. Full of smiling faces, interesting textures and effects, it’s really quite a delight.
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