After their outstanding 2019 album “American Love Call”, on which Durand Jones and The Indications celebrated the soul of the 60s and 70s to perfection, the American quintet opens the door to a world of synthetic, modern soul and string-infused disco beats with their new album “Private Space”. WEST COAST SOUL talked with lead singer Durand Jones about the making of the album, their new sound, the effects of the pandemic, his musical roots and further plans.
With his unique voice and energetic blend of modern soul and funk, Joel Culpepper has been one of the hottest acts on the British R&B scene for years. On his debut album “Sgt Culpepper”, the singer-songwriter from South East London, with a little help from friends like Swindle, Tom Misch and Shawn Lee, realises his vision of retro-modern soul music and sets a new standard for British R&B. Definitely one of the most exciting albums of the year.
On his new album “For Free”, David Crosby revives his legendary musicality shortly before his 80th birthday and, with the support of artists such as Michael McDonald, Donald Fagen from Steely Dan and Sarah Jarosz, creates an almost transcendent painting of Californian music between poetry, prayer and classic folk-rock harmonies.
“Yacht Soul – The Cover Versions”, the latest edition of the renowned Too Slow To Disco series, highlights an area of 70s and 80s music that has long been criminally overlooked: the interpretations of West Coast AOR by black Soul and R&B artists. On the basis of 16 songs, TSTD curator Marcus Liesenfeld aka DJ Supermarkt shows how artists like Quincy Jones, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Greg Phillinganes or The Brothers Johnson put their stamp on well-known world hits like “What A Fool Believes” or “Summer Breeze” by making the songs their own with refined soul, funk and sometimes even political attitude. WEST COAST SOUL talked with the Berlin DJ veteran about the ninth edition of the series, the creative exchange between the genres, the influence of the studio musicians of this era on AOR and R&B, further plans and much more.
Singer-songwriter Nick Corbin returns to his musical roots and celebrates the most beautiful feeling in the world with his new single “Deeper In Love”. The result is a piece of uplifting 70s-inspired vintage soul with an extra dose of positive summer vibes.
Once a month we take a look back at the classics and rather unknown album highlights of West Coast music from the 70s and 80s. Join WEST COAST SOUL on a foray through our record collection and travel with us back into the past.
Super db from London don’t do things by halves: With their new album “Ecoute Ca”, the band celebrates the West Coast sound of the early 80s with such accuracy and joy of playing that the record would also have cut a fine figure in 1982. Sadly, the album’s joie de vivre is overshadowed by the untimely death of keyboardist and singer Matt Dibble last May. So “Ecoute Ca” is also a legacy of the 26-year-old founding member.
With her first new single “Everybody Knows This Ain’t Right” since her exquisite second album “How The Mighty Fall”, British soul powerhouse Izo FitzRoy follows in the musical footsteps of her idols Bill Withers and Dusty Springfield and encounters our troubled times with heartfelt soul.
With “Septet”, LA-based producer, pianist and composer John Carroll Kirby has released a jazz album that seems to have fallen out of time, full of warm grooves and spiritual jazz funk schooled in Herbie Hancock, George Duke and Weather Report. Everything sounds relaxed, warm and playful. One of the most beautiful jazz releases of the year.
From sweet soul-slowies to psyche-rock tinged bangers to ballads with a touch of jazzy 70s R&B, Brainstory’s music is a sublime blend of Californian music history. “Ripe” is the name of the trio’s new EP, released today on Big Crown Records. Even though the new songs were written and recorded during the lockdown, the guys have kept their joy of playing and good humour. It’s worth a listen!
With his new album “Daymaker”, the American electronic producer Flamingosis once again takes us into a vintage sound world of easy-going smooth beats and sun-drenched West Coast vibes that are hard to resist. For the first time, the artist, whose real name is Aaron Velasquez, invited musicians into the studio to expand his sound. The result is a subtle mix of electronic beats, samples and real instruments and one of the most beautiful and mature albums by the artist from New Jersey.
Twelve years after “Declaration of Dependence”, the Norwegian duo Kings of Convenience are suddenly back and with “Peace Or Love” they manage to seamlessly continue the quality of their previous albums – sophisticated indie pop for the dawning summer.
Kraak & Smaak are finally back! With their new single “All I Need”, the Dutch trio skilfully mixes a refreshing sound cocktail of soulful Rhodes grooves, a touch of sun-drenched Americana and a pinch of sultry Italian-French 70s flair, that will accompany us through the warm summer days. The song is featuring vocals by Tel Aviv-born and -based artist and producer iogi. “All I Need” is released today on the trio’s own label Boogie Angst.
Even the name that the talented Parisian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Greg Bette has chosen for his project – Garçon de Plage, the French term for “beach boy” – gives an idea of the music that influenced his work. And so it comes as no surprise that his second album “Amour Aveugle” is all about West Coast harmonies, sophisticated arrangements and French pop grandezza, in other words, smooth yacht pop à la France – somewhere between Michel Berger and The Doobie Brothers.
Three years after his critically acclaimed Michael Franks tribute “Cool School”, American multi-instrumentalist, producer and singer-songwriter Leo Sidran finally returns with his long-awaited new and arguably most personal album “The Art Of Conversation”. Listeners can expect a treasure chest of intimate and introspective portraits of family life during the pandemic, performed by Sidran in his irresistible blend of jazz, singer-songwriter pop, bossa nova and funk and supported by numerous friends. West Coast Soul talked with the Grammy Award winner about the making of his seventh studio album, family life in times of Covid, the influence of his adopted hometown of New York on his music, the impact of the crisis on the music industry and his plans for the future.
To mark this year’s 50th anniversary of RAM by Paul & Linda McCartney, over 100 musicians have come together under the direction of Denny Seiwell, the original drummer of Paul McCartney & Wings, and multi-instrumentalist and producer Fernando Perdomo to re-record this seminal album. The result is “RAM ON”, a generation-spanning labour of love that meticulously recreates the original and impresses with its attention to detail and great musicanship.
His songs often seem light and easy-going, but they are guaranteed to stick in your ears: Dutch singer, songwriter and producer Tim van Berkestijn, better known by his stage name Benny Sings, has become one of the Netherlands’ most talented musical exports with his distinctive blend of mellow Californian-influenced pop, jazzy R&B and a hint of DIY charm. In the music business for around twenty years, Benny Sings has collaborated with the likes of Anderson .Paak, Cornelius and Mayer Hawthorne and earned himself a loyal fan base – not least among artists and musicians. In 2019, he made his international breakthrough with the critically acclaimed record “City Pop”. On his new album “Music”, released on April 9th via Stones Throw Records, he refines his signature sound, supported by great artists such as Mac DeMarco, Tom Misch, Emily King and Kelsey Gonzales. WEST COAST SOUL talked with the Amsterdam-based artist about his new album, his latest collaborations, sources of inspiration, the right beat, nostalgia and much more.