9 Great Boston Artists + 9 New Songs = Fresh and Awesome Listening
Let me explain… No, there are too many. Let me summarize.
Nine great Boston artists have nine great new songs (many of which come with great new EPs or LPs and/or great upcoming gigs to celebrate said songs, EPs and LPs). Listen to new music, get back on the scene, rock!
“Who Got Next?”, DJ WhySham and Cakeswagg, out now
The answer to that question is WhySham and its army of powerful collaborators. The answer works today. It will work tomorrow. On the rhythms of the DJ, Cakeswagg swings the bars with a well-deserved confidence. Leave “Who’s next?” be your gateway into the duo’s new six-track mixtape, “The Pencess” (not the princess!).
“Apoplectic”, Bird Language, now available
A kind of Boston supergroup built from relentless metal bands (Goddamn Draculas, Motherboar, and more). Bird Language is catchy and cool. The lead single from the upcoming debut “625 Days” recounts a night gone wrong through overdriven guitars and moments of excessive tenderness. Remember that you love the fragile as much as the relentless (and you love them together) during the March 20 Bird Language show at Rockwell.
“I Wouldn’t Know You,” Sarah Borges, Out Now
Accent! Stomps! Lyrics that smack with gems like “Last to go and first to drop in a bar / If anybody needs you, they know for sure where you are.” Borges has long been one of Boston’s finest writers, singers and bandleaders. Those twangs and stomps mingle with tenderness and growls on the new album “Together Alone.” Hear her and the band at The Burren, April 2.
“Santa Monica”, King Fiya & Dutch ReBelle, now available
King Fiya and Dutch have such different approaches behind the mic that just bouncing their swagger is thrilling – Fiya can hypnotize with that deep voice, Dutch mixes silky smooth verses with staccato punches. This Californian beat and boom hip-hop track previews the duo’s collaborative project “Money Diaries,” released this week.
“Spinning”, Jen Kearney, out now
This string arrangement! So dramatic, lush and “Sgt. Peppers.” Lots of things make Kearney’s new EP “Atlantic” a wonderful journey: deep soul, jazz flourishes, huge funk horns, introspective lyrics sung by Kearney’s thick, throaty voice. But the strings of “Spinning” will stun you. Let them be what ushers you into the singer-songwriter’s wild and meditative four-song set.
“Cut + Paste”, Linnea’s Garden, now available
This track gives us a taste of the band’s first LP, “Fashion Show”, which will be released on April 1st (with a release party at the Jungle the following evening). This taste evokes both dance and punk (see Gang of Four or Franz Ferdinand). It’s disco dressed in glam fashion, which both looks and sounds wonderful.
“Leave You Behind”, Senseless Optimism, out March 16
Oh, I get it, Senseless Optimism is Sade indie rock. Or wait, now I hear those Stax horns. Maybe Boston’s new voice is an R&B version of Kate Bush. No that’s not true. Probably best not to box in this one and just enjoy the alternative rock/Motown/lounge jazz of “Leave You Behind” while waiting for the next EP “It Gets Better”.
“Alias”, Savoir Faire, released on March 25
If Ruby Rose Fox leaving town has left a hole in your heart, fill it with Savoir Faire. The overlap between the two: voices worthy of a film noir, lyrics worthy of a revolution, melodies that combat the encroaching darkness. But Savoir Faire bops, swings and smolders with jazz flourishes on a track that clearly examines how we cover up our apathy in the face of racism, sexism and prejudice with flimsy alibis, hidden behind pseudonyms.
“All Is Quiet”, Susan Cattaneo, out April 8
Many great albums begin with songs that double as prayers – “Smile”, “Astral Weeks”. Cattaneo created such an introduction, an incantation, in the title track of the upcoming album “All Is Quiet”. She layers her vocals on a bed of guitars for a wonderful one-track fever dream. Recorded remotely in 2020 with guitar heroes Kevin Barry and Duke Levine, the entire record combines masterful songwriting with intimate arrangements.