Funk & Soul

Dusted || The 10 Best Cover Songs Of February 2022

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.

You’ve probably seen compilations with cover versions of songs by Todd Rundgren and Yoko Ono elsewhere, and for some reason at least 3 different artists released a new reimagination of Bruce Springsteen’s I’m On Fire (don’t ask), but there was a lot more to choose this month.

Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere || Cover: Guerrilla Monzón || Original: Neil Young
At the end of last year I wrote enthusiastically about PCH, the debut EP by New York trio Guerrilla Monzón. Now Jason Sanchez (vocals, guitars), Eric Gordon (vocals, bass), and Rey Sinsay (drums) are back with Make It Home, featuring 7 new songs worthy of your attention. There’s this telling cover on it, which I don’t want to withhold from you (this way the legacy of Neil Young can still be listened to on Spotify, sort of ;)), but their own songs are just as good.

New album: Chris Lujan & Electric Butter feat. Andre Cruz || The Real Thing

Californian multi-instrumentalist / songwriter / producer / record executive Chris Lujan has played bass as a session musician in numerous bands since the early 1990’s. Finally he comes to the fore with his own project, and with his full-length album The Real Thing he does so very convincingly. This is soul music as soul music is meant to be, sweet, funky and heart-felt at the same time. On January 1, 2021 you already heard the standout track New Years Day, how cool that there’s more such good music from where that came from.

Chris Lujan himself co-wrote, produced, recorded, and mixed the 10 songs here, and he also played guitars, bass, drums, glockenspiel, tambourine, and keys. Several friends – Electric Butter: Michael Reed, Robert Walter, Joe Baer Magnant, Raynier Jacildo, Micah McClain, Adam Scone, Rob Dehlinger, Matt Morrish, Andrew Gillespie, and Rachel Havens – came by for additional organ, trumpet, saxophone, flute and more, but it’s to a great extent the powerful contribution of vocalist Andre Cruz who takes the tunes to a higher level. This truly is the real thing!

The Real Thing is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP (shipping in August) through Chris Lujan’s own label Lugnut Brand Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Diane Ward & The Kevin Fingier Collective || Why Don’t You Go Home / Cocktail De Medianoche

Here’s another incredible R&B hipshaker with a ’60s sound. Last year we heard The Kevin Fingier Collective collaborate with Jo Ann Hamilton, on the A-side of this new single you now can hear the powerful raspy vocals of Diane Ward. The American gospel singer lived in Argentina for a couple of years, where Kevin Fingier saw her perform. Her voice blew his mind, and if you listen to Why Don’t You Go Home yours too. On the B-side you hear Latin floor filler Cocktail de Medianoche, an instrumental track with percussion, flute and horns.

Why Don’t You Go Home b/w Cocktail De Medianoche is out now digitally and 7″ vinyl through Acid Jazz’ subsidiary label Fingier Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New album: Shanda & The Howlers || It Ain’t Easy

In between listening to recent releases I was looking for the best playlist with 50’s/60’s rhythm & blues hipshakers, imho the most suitable music for a good house party, I actually came across a new album in this genre: Shanda & the Howlers are back with killer R&B record It Ain’t Easy.

Shanda Cisneros (vocals), Luke Metz (bass, backup vocals, songwriting), Trevor Johnson (guitar), and Joshua Miller (drums) not only know how to play blues, garage and soul as it should be, but they capture it in quality songs that gain even more expressiveness through the mighty voice of the front woman. The album title might suggest otherwise, but writing a new collection of hip shakers seems to come off quite easily for the Las Vegas band. Thanks for that.

It Ain’t Easy is out now digitally and on CD via Rum Bar Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

Dusted || The 10 Best Cover Songs Of January 2022

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.

We’ve already posted reviews of cover albums by Pedico (pop-punk) and The Krontjong Devils (surf rock) last month, and compilations with covers of songs by Los Campesinos! and Townes Van Zandt were released, but a lot more great new covers came online.

Time Of The Season || Cover: The Ergs! || Original: The Zombies
Technically The Ergs! broke up 15 years ago, but the American punk rock band would pop up occasionally. After a new single in 2016, they’re back again, with four-track EP Time And The Season, out digitally and on 7″ vinyl through Dirtnap Records – each side opening with an original and closing with a cover. Besides The Remains’ Say You’re Sorry they’re also playing the Zombies’ Odessey & Oracle classic in their own style.

New album: The Diasonics || Origin Of Forms

“Hussar funk”, that’s how The Diasonics call their music: infectious deep funk instrumentals with East European influences, raw soul, dope hip-hop rhythms and hypnotic psychedelia, rooted in the late 60’s and early 70’s. The youthful Moscow five-piece – Anton Moskvin (drums), Maxim Brusov (bass), Anton Katyrin (percussions), Daniil Lutsenko (guitar) and Kamil Gzizov (keyboards) – have just released their debut full-length album Origin of Forms, featuring 12 groovy tracks with a cinematic sound and Eastern funk atmosphere. Very well produced, danceable and addictive. RIYL: Khruangbin, The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble, The Rugged Nuggets, Kit Sebastian.

Origin of Forms is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Record Kicks.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New EP: Tio Nacho’s House || Here’s To You

Peruvian-American band Tio Nacho’s House – cousins ​​Ricky (guitar, vocals) and Roberto Hoyos (vocals) and Nick Bolaño (bass) – recorded their debut EP Here’s To You in a pillow warehouse, but what you hear are the vibes of a exuberant Peruvian house party. The Seattle-based musicians play soulful, funky rock songs, which they interrupt here with interludes of overlapping talking, bottles clinking and a voice guiding you forward. This mini album gives you a first person perspective of someone finding new people, navigating modern relationships, encountering heartbreak, commenting on the state of the world, and finally finding new love. You don’t often hear such funky rhythms in combination with searing electric guitars and layered harmonies anymore, but thanks to this fine release I realize how much I’ve missed that.

Here’s To You is out now digitally. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

Music Year-End List || Dennis’ Favorite Singles and EP’s of 2021

You’ve already seen our lists with favorite albums – here‘s Niek’s list and there‘s mine – but also many shorter format releases were wantlist worthy. Below you can listen to an overview of the Top 50 singles and EPs that I thought were the best from 2021. I’ve excluded releases with songs that also appear on my album list. Links point to Discogs or Bandcamp (the headings), and to previously posted reviews (in the body text) – add to your wantlist (or collection) what you like!

1. Noah C Lekas || Sounds From The Shadow Factory
[Beat Poetry, US || Blind Owl] To be honest I haven’t been able to give this one as much attention as I would have liked. Not only because I mainly spent my time on full-length albums, but also for practical reasons: only two songs are shared on Bandcamp, YouTube, Soundcloud and Spotify, and unfortunately a physical copy wasn’t available in Europe (and sold out quickly in the US). Still, I didn’t doubt for a moment whether this should be at the top, simply because this was the most impressive release of the past year in all respects. Poems and rock music form a great combination here: “It’s jazz for the mind // It’s blues for the soul.” It’s Art!

Music Year-End List || Dennis’ Favorite Albums of 2021

All year long we look forward to this moment of looking back, escaping the continuous flow of new releases for a while, taking the time to recap what really stood out these 12 months. In 2021 I took my FOMO more seriously than ever: I’ve checked out 2,200+ new albums, twice as many as last year (this hobby is getting out of hand). The disadvantage of this is that you don’t get any sleep, but still it isn’t possible to give anything that looks promising the attention it deserves. Anyway, along the way I built up a longlist of 120+ LPs that are wantlist-worthy, which I now have brought down to a Top 50.

In any post on this website, we try to put into words which artists are involved, how their instruments and vocals sound, whether their songs are catchy or dreamy or energetic or dark, where their inspiration for lyrics came from, etc., but I have my year-end list compiled as I always have, simply in order of what I loved and played the most – personal taste preference as the debatable deciding factor. My choices are all about guitar-driven, authentic indie rock, power pop, garage rock, roots, and jangle pop, plus a little bit of soul, country, folk, and alternative rock.

Dusted || The 10 Best Cover Songs Of November 2021

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.

Overdose || Cover: Supersuckers || Original: AC/DC
Friday December 3rd, Magnetic Eye Records will release the 2LP Best of AC/CD [Redux], featuring 13 cover versions of classics by the Australian hard rock band. The choice cut of the experienced musicians of Supersuckers was already shared last month – their cover of Let There Be Rock‘s Overdose is a heavy, excellent tribute, where you can hear for 6 minutes that they are true AC/DC fans.

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