Funk & Soul

New album: Bette Smith || Goodthing

Highly recommended for fans of Tina Turner, Betty Davis, Macy Gray

“Give me all your attention // Gonna make you feel my vibe // With my hips and my lips // And my funk inside” sings Brooklyn born and bred rhythm & blues powerhouse Bette Smith in the title track of her new (third) LP Goodthing. The record contains thirteen original soul and gospel songs with a rock ‘n’ roll feel, varying in tempo but always intense, presenting personal stories of resilience and passion through hardship and neglect. It is the awesome distinctive vocals that naturally take the leading role, but don’t ignore the musicians behind the singer, because their sound is as groovy and empathetic as can be. “Can’t get too much of a good thing” we hear, and that’s exactly how it is.

Goodthing, produced by Jimmy Hogarth, is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP, through Kartel Music Group. RIYL Tina Turner, Betty Davis, Macy Gray.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Kartel

New album: Quinn DeVeaux || Leisure

Recommended as the soundtrack for this summer

California-based singer-songwriter Quinn DeVeaux wanted his new album Leisure to feel like a front porch swinging in a hammock, and he succeeded wonderfully. The LP features ten original soul songs laced with blues, funk and gospel elements, ten well-produced songs with attractive hooks and melodies played by a packed line-up* of star musicians, fertile ground for pleasant vocals that provide earworm choruses. Laid-back, sun-kissed and charming as can be, here’s your soundtrack for this summer.

Leisure, produced by Matt Ross-Spang and Lech Wierzynski, is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP, through SofaBurn Records. *Featuring Quinn DeVeaux (vocals, guitars, bass), Jerry Pentecost (drums, percussion), Nick Otis (drums), Dave Guy (bass), Christoffer Andersen (bass), Lorenzo Loera (bass), Robbie Crowell (keys), Jacob Smolowe (keys), Tony Owen (guitar), Lech Wierzynski (guitar), Micah Hulscher (organ, clavinet), Patrick Sweany (guitar), Alexis Saski (backing vocals), Laura Mayo (backing vocals), Talia DeVeaux (backing vocals), Arthur Edmaiston (sax), Kirk Smothers (sax), Marc Franklin (trumpet), Emmanuel Echem (trumpet) and Jake Botts (sax).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || SofaBurn

New album: Roots Round Up || Up Rooted

A well-seasoned mix of reggae, ska, funk, roots rock, and punk

If your listening diet allows for a well-seasoned mix of reggae, ska, afro-beat, folk, funk, roots rock and punk, you can safely add Roots Round Up to it. Up Rooted, the sixth full-length album from these Vancouver’s veteran musicians (the band formed in 1985), features twelve songs, including six new original ones – their first in thirty years. In addition, it also has covers of DOA’s War in the East and Sarcastic Mannequins’ Four Arabs In A Red Fury (abbreviated here to Red Fury), plus four live recordings from last year’s performance on Denman Island. Despite the eclectic influences, it is an organic whole around current themes, with shimmering horns and pulsing rhythms – a loose and uplifting sound, surprisingly easy to digest.

Up Rooted, recorded by Stephen Hamm, is out now digitally via Revolver, and on CD and vinyl LP through Sudden Death Records. Featuring Greg Hathaway, David “Dymitri” Hanna, David Hathaway, Keith Rose, Mark Campbell, Eric Napier and Bradford Lambert.

Add to wantlist: Roots Roundup

New album: Penza Penza || Alto E Primitivo

Cool instrumentals full of heavy grooves

Penza Penza is the garage psych project of the prolific Estonia-born/Portugal-based composer/multi-instrumentalist/producer Misha Panfilov, and his friends. After Beware Of Penza Penza, Neanderthal Rock and Electricolorized, they now come across with full-length album number 4, Alto E Primitivo, their loudest effort yet. You’ll hear fourteen instrumental tracks full of original melodies, in which the jazz influences have been pushed further into the background, and heavy grooves dominate. It’s an unstoppable rock fest with a stylistic funk flavor, tripped out and fuzzy, hypnotic and cool. This is a melting pot of Western and non-Western ideas, and a gold mine for sampling producers.

Alto E Primitivo is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Funk Night Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs || Funk Night

Dusted || The 10 Best Cover Songs Of June 2024

New versions for classic tracks from The Remains, Green Day, Joy Division, Talking Heads, and more

Not all new music is really new, as many artists cover songs. Sometimes these are songs by their favorite artists, eg as a tribute to such a musical hero for a special reason, or they simply feel that a song deserves to be dusted and polished to reacquaint fans with great songs from the past. Other times, bands cover songs as a parody. Regardless of intent, some of those cover versions are so good or so much fun, we’d like to put a spotlight on them. Chosen from a wide range, here are – in random order – ten of our favorite covers from last month – links to the pages where you can add them to your wantlist included.

In June, over fifty successful covers floated through the space of Add To Wantlist HQ (we have already grabbed Tom Petty’s You Don’t Know How It Feels by Wyldlife, The Beach Boys’ Shut Down by Brad Marino, The Motels’ Total Control by The Hollywood Stars, King Of The Surf (The Trashmen) by The Babalooneys, and traditional Bella Ciao by Jason McNiff), of which we would like to forward the next ten to you as well.

Don’t Look Back || Cover: The Peawees || Original: The Remains
Italian punk rock band The Peawees have just released a wantlist-worthy new 45 on Folc Records. A-side Banana Tree is the lead track from their upcoming album One Ride (out September 6 on Wild Honey Records), but here we share the flipside: an infectious cover of The Remains’ 1966 contribution to the garage rock canon – amazing how they go off the rails after a minute.

Sassafras Roots || Cover: Pete Chadwick || Original: Green Day
Green Day’s 1994 masterpiece Dookie made a huge impression on countless kids. Ucluelet-based handyman Pete Chadwick is one of them. He doesn’t get around to writing original songs at the moment, but his long-cherished wish to cover one of his favorite records of all time has come true. The fourteen tracks of Dookie Unplugged In Ukee are lo-fi and acoustic, but it works.

Your Love || Cover: Melonball || Original The Outfield
Germany’s skate punk five-piece Melonball have released a third vinyl pressing of last year’s debut LP Breathe (half pink/half black vinyl via Thousand Island Records and Lockjaw Records), a good opportunity to record a nice new music video for their cover of The Outfield’s 1986 single Your Love, which closes the album.

The Low Road || Cover: Angry Zeta || Original: Mac Curtis
Bluegrass punk from Buenos Aires in Argentina? Yep, just listen to the exciting Chills And Thrills LP by Angry Zeta, out on Voodoo Rhythm Records. Among the thirteen tracks there are two covers, including this new version of a 1956 song by American rockabilly/country singer Mac Curtis, written by Jim Shell and Joe Price.

Sick of Myself || Cover: Trace Mountains || Original: Matthew Sweet
Sick Of Myself was the gritty opening track of Matthew Sweet’s 1995 album 100% Fun, with lyrics that still resonate: “I’m sick of myself when I look at you // Something is beautiful and true // In a world that’s ugly and a lie // It’s hard to even want to try.” It is as easy to understand why New York-based indie folk band Trace Mountains recorded it (out digitally via Lame-O Records), as it is to be moved by their sensitive version.

Love Will Tear Us Apart || Cover: Los Bluffs || Original: Joy Division
Give Me Time, that’s the title of the new 7″ from Spanish garage punk quartet Los Bluffs on Ghost Higway Recordings, KOTJ Records and SNAP!! Records. It contains three tracks with heavy guitars and potent vocals, including a mean but emotional cover of Joy Division’s 1980 hit.

Que Sera Sera || Cover: Pixies || Original: Doris Day
Legendary alternative rock band Pixies return with new two-track 7″ You’re So Impatient (self-released), in their own words a macabre and cinematic picture of American pop culture. In addition to the title track we get a dark, folky take on the much-covered 50s standard Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera) – surprising and compelling.

Slippery People || Cover: Say She She || Original: Talking Heads
New wave/post-punk band Talking Heads are back in the spotlight since their fabulous Stop Making Sense concert film has been restored in 4K to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Slippery People, one of the highlights of that performance, becomes even more groovy in the hands of New York-based discodelic girl group Say She She, recorded live in the BBC Maida Vale Studios (out digitally via Karma Chief/Colemine Records).

Crimson & Clover || Cover: The Shacks || Original: Tommy James and the Shondells
A selection of unreleased work from New York City’s cinematic soul duo The Shacks, one of the first bands signed to Big Crown Records, finally sees the light of day on Big Crown Vaults Vol. 2. It concerns no fewer than twelve tunes, including a cover that sounds even more sultry than the original version of 60s hit Crimson & Clover.

You’ve Got To Earn It || Cover: Fleur De Lys || Original: The Temptations
To conclude, a cover that can’t really be called new, but for which we have a good reason to share it anyway. Acid Jazz launches a special series of Countdown 7” singles that look back at the original mod classics of the 60s (Countdown Records was the mid-80s mod label founded by Eddie Piller, Maxine Conroy and Terry Rawlings). The first release contains covers of Pete Townshend’s Circles and The Temptations’ You’ve Got To Earn It, by British mid-60s rock band Les Fleur De Lys. The B-side is from a lost session from 1966, never before been available on 7” vinyl, but from August 16th it will.

Also worth mentioning:
Holding Out For A Hero (Bonnie Tyler) by The Dollyrots
Invisible People (The Slickee Boys) by The Dwarves
(Townes Van Zandt) by Dead Horse One
Save It For Later (The English Beat) by Eddie Vedder
Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes) by Aloe Blacc
Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes) by Talia Keys
Something in the Way (Nirvana) by Painted Vein
Sub – Mission (Sex Pistols) by Low Hums
Sugar Man (Sixto Rodriguez) by Pit Samprass
TNT (AC/DC) by Hellsongs
When The Levee Breaks (Led Zeppelin) by Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

Check out our Dusted playlist on Spotify for more cool cover songs.

New single: Doctor Velvet || Road To Nowhere / Camino Hacia Ning​ú​n Lugar (feat. Tito Ramírez)

To ease the wait for the debut album of Amsterdam’s latest live sensation Doctor Velvet, the rhythm ‘n blues band releases another hot 45 with a delicious taster: new original track Road To Nowhere in two flavors. As if the English version itself isn’t spicy enough (believe me, it is), an unexpected guest from Spain joins the flipside. ‘Kink of Mambo’ Tito Ramírez, who took the top spot in my 2023 year-end list, gives the hit song a Latin treatment with lyrics sung in Spanish and a slightly different mix for some extra ‘sabor’. One more round please!

Road To Nowhere b/w Camino Hacia Ning​ú​n Lugar is out now digitally and on limited edition 7″ vinyl through Wap Shoo Wap Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Wap Shoo Wap

New EP: The Vanrays || Hey! Alright Now

“I’ve been gone so long // But I am back where I belong // Hey, everything is gonna be alright now”, we hear in the title track, and that is exactly what it feels like. Early last year, Canadian septet The Vanrays released their aptly titled full-length debut album Put It Out in in a beautifully illustrated sleeve, but apparently its recording sessions were so fruitful that it yielded six more songs that are too good to keep on the shelf, so they are brought together on this Hey! Alright Now EP. Spencer McKinnon (vocals), Phil Addington (bass), Brian Barr (guitar), Gordon Rempel (electric piano, organ), Jose Blanco (trumpet), Melissa Lee (saxophone, backing vocals) and Eric Lowe (drums, backing vocals) call their sound East Van Soul, which amounts to a funky and compelling mix of classic R&B and gritty garage music, rooted in the 70s. Groovy guitars, punchy horns and goosebump-inducing vocals, then you know: “It’s gonna be alright.”

Hey! Alright Now, produced by Scott Fletcher, is out now digitally via Bonerattle Records. Also featuring Neil Bliss (trombone) and Shelley Preston (backing vocals).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Pointbreak || Ming Dynamite

Dublin’s instrumental surf rock outfit Pointbreak have three EPs to their name, but they’re celebrating their tenth anniversary with their first full-length album, Ming Dynamite. Stefano Vita (guitars), Mark Corry (bass), Simon Wall (sax, flute) and Conor Murray (drums) come from the jazz, funk and rockabilly scenes, and they have performed countless live shows – those influences and experience make that they stand out from their peers. The eleven tunes here – opening track Tiger Hour in two versions – have a classic surf sound as a foundation, but swinging elements of garage, jazz, funk and psychedelia are built on top of it, in which a screaming sax competes for cheers with twangy Fender guitars. Although the music itself already exudes a cinematic feeling, spoken soundscapes enhance this even further. Raucous but dosed, and as original and explosive as the colorful cover art.

Ming Dynamite, recorded & mixed by Stefano Vita, is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP, through Surf Cookie Records. Also featuring Franck Bourjini (keys) and Pablo Caderno (theremin) on select tracks.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

Dusted || The 10 Best Cover Songs Of May 2024

Not all new music is really new, as many artists cover songs. Sometimes these are songs by their favorite artists, eg as a tribute to such a musical hero for a special reason, or they simply feel that a song deserves to be dusted and polished to reacquaint fans with great songs from the past. Other times, bands cover songs as a parody. Regardless of intent, some of those cover versions are so good or so much fun, we’d like to put a spotlight on them. Chosen from a wide range, here are – in random order – ten of our favorite covers from last month – links to the pages where you can add them to your wantlist included.

To be honest, I wanted to kick this off with Swedish rock band The Hives’ take on Blue Swede’s Hooked On A Feeling. You probably know the “Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga” chant from Guardians Of The Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol. 1, but the tune is actually 50 years old. The new version is recorded for Spotify Singles, which means we cannot easily embed it here (you’ll find a link in the honorable mentions later in this post). Fortunately, there’s plenty more to choose from.

Star Star || Cover: The Cynz || Original: The Rolling Stones
On their latest release, JEM Records celebrates Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, after previously honoring John Lennon (2020), Brian Wilson (2021), Pete Townshend (2022) and Ray Davies (2023) with a strong compilation in this series. This new one is also fun, with energetic contributions from favorite bands and artists such as The Midnight Callers, Paul Collins, TheAirport77s, Nick Piunti and The Weeklings. No fillers here, but I like the ragged edge of The Cynz the best.

New album: Goblyns || Hunki Bobo

Goblyns are a psych-groove trio featuring Giovanni Votano, Liam Broek and Francis Broek, hailing from Berlin and Amsterdam. They now follow up last year’s This is Spaghettification EP with their full-length debut album Hunki Bobo, influenced by both the past (CAN, The Meters) and the present (Khruangbin, The Budos Band). It concerns eight instrumental tracks in which a mix of raw psychedelic rock and dreamy Afrofunk is sprinkled with a spicy spaghetti western sauce. The ideas for the tunes come from a feeling rather than a concept or story, but I envision a coarse-grained technicolor film in split-screen, with an exciting chase scene on one side and close-ups of the protagonists in slow motion on the other. This record is sunny, cinematic and accessible, undoubtedly the soundtrack for quite a few holidaymakers this summer.

Hunki Bobo, recorded & mixed by André Leo, is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP, through Crazysane Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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