Out now: “Smooth & Soulful Sounds – Best Of 2022”

With our Spotify series “Smooth & Soulful Sounds”, WEST COAST SOUL.de presents current favourites, potential hits as well as fresh songs and artists who deserve more airplay. We’ve compiled the seven editions of the year for you in one Best Of West Coast, Soul, Funk, Sophistipop and Sunset Disco of 2022.

Out now: Smooth & Soulful Sounds Volume 16

With our “Smooth & Soulful Sounds” series, WEST COAST SOUL presents current favorites, potential hits as well as fresh releases and artists that deserve more airplay. Discover the latest from Soul, West Coast, Slow Funk and Sunset Disco. Listen now!

On his new single “Lonely Town”, Joel Sarakula counters the cold digitalisation of our lives with organically grooving disco beats

Australian-born artist Joel Sarakula has always been a musical globetrotter. After rainy London, he has now made his way to the sunny shores of Gran Canaria. His new single “Lonely Town” is an irresistible urban 70s-inspired disco jam that will cut a fine figure not least in Canarian clubs. Despite all the lightness, Sarakula deals with the dystopian effects of digitalization in the lyrics. His new album “Island Time” will finally be released in January.

Nathan Johnston & the Angels of Libra celebrate the virtues of authentic soul music on their debut album

For their first studio album, the Hamburg soul outfit Angels of Libra teamed up with the Irish singer-songwriter Nathan Johnston, after they had already attracted attention with singles with Shawn Lee and Maiiah. The result is an authentic album full of elegantly grooving, varied and atmospheric soul music, characterised by tasteful horn arrangements, a great rhythm section and the right amount of analogue warmth, but not least by Nathan Johnston’s striking voice – one of our soul albums of the year.

Album Review: Lee Fields explores the depths of the human soul on his new album “Sentimental Fool”

It has taken over 20 years, now finally the legendary American soul singer Lee Fields has released his first album on the New York Daptone Records label. With the support of label founder Gabriel Roth and the best musicians Daptone has to offer, the 72-year-old singer explores the essence of pure, true emotion on “Sentimental Fools” and impressively demonstrates his mastery. Soul music can’t get much deeper than this.

Ticket To Shangri-La – Interview with Young Gun Silver Fox

On their new album “Ticket To Shangri-La”, Young Gun Silver Fox invite us to take a sonic break from everyday life and current crises. But anyone expecting an album full of relaxed ballads should buckle up. On their fourth studio album, Shawn Lee and Andy Platts pick up the pace and combine their inimitable feeling for catchy, sundrenched West Coast soul-pop with an infectious funkiness. West Coast Soul talked with the duo about their new songs, their creative partnership, sources of inspiration, tour plans and many more.

Surprise Chef invite with their new album “Education & Recreation” to a journey into grooving sound worlds

Surprise Chef’s sound draws from ’70s film music, the funky side of jazz and samples that form the basis of hip-hop. On their third album, “Education & Recreation,” out now on Big Crown Records, the Australian quintet refines their signature approach to antmospheric instrumental soul and funk, transporting listeners into grooving soundscapes waiting to be discovered.

On “hallo 22” Max Herre and Dexter celebrate the funk music of the GDR

In the midst of the Cold War, when the Iron Curtain divided Europe, a music scene flourished in East Germany in the 1970s that, under the strict eyes of the SED regime, turned influences from the “class enemy” such as soul, funk and psychedelic rock into something unique. For the compilation “hallo 22 – DDR Funk und Soul 1971-81”, German hip-hop veterans Max Herre and Felix “Dexter” Göppel joined forces to search the archives of the East German label Amiga for musical treasures from this period. What they found is a testimony to the great musicality, creativity and hope of these artists.

On “Ali”, Vieux Farka Touré and Khruangbin open up the music of the late great African guitarist Ali Farka Touré for a new generation

Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who died in 2006, was one of the most influential and talented guitarists Africa has ever produced. To celebrate and reinterpret his father’s music, singer-guitarist Vieux Farka Touré teamed up with the Texas trio Khruangbin to record the tribute “Ali”. The result is an album whose improvisational approach makes it one of the most exciting releases of the year and catapults the music of the “King of the Desert Blues” into the 21st century.

PREP releases new EP “Back To You”

Known for their blend of sounds from contemporary R&B, electronica, and 70s to 80s inspired synth-pop, London-based four-piece PREP have shared their brand new EP ‘Back To You’. The title track and lead single “Back To You” perfectly encapsulates PREP’s signature sound – funky grooves, a great melodic guitar line, and smooth vocals.

Jonathan Jeremiah’s new album “Horsepower For The Streets” evokes the soulful pop of decades past

With his fourth studio album “Good Day”, singer-songwriter Jonathan Jeremiah delivered a soulful masterpiece in 2018. After that, it became somewhat quiet around the London artist. Now the man with the warm baritone voice is finally back with his epic new album “Horsepower For The Streets” and seamlessly follows on from its predecessor – emotional, orchestral pop with lots of soul, deeply rooted in the 60s and 70s somewhere between Terry Callier and Lee Hazlewood.

Too Slow To Disco – the anniversary interview with Marcus Liesenfeld

After smooth detours to soul covers, French neo-disco, modern sunset club sounds and Brazilian AOR, the renowned “Too Slow To Disco” series returns to its original West Coast AOR and yacht roots this year with its tenth edition. A good reason to talk with Berlin based TSTD curator Marcus Liesenfeld aka DJ Supermarkt on the development of the series over the past eight years, the qualities of a good music curator, his favourite editions, the classic compilation format, the future of the series and much more.

Eddie Chacon returns with new song “Holy Hell” and video

Californian singer-songwriter Eddie Chacon is probably best known to most as one half of the successful US soul duo Charles & Eddie from the early 90s. With “Pleasure, Joy and Happiness”, the “low-key R&B legend” (The Fader) celebrated a brilliant comeback in 2020 with support from Solange and Frank Ocean collaborator John Carroll Kirby. Now the artist Mac DeMarco called his “planet earth’s number one musician” is back with a new record deal with Stones Throw Records and a new single and video. “Holy Hell” combines everything we love about Chacon – it’s celestial soul music for the 21st century.

Light in the Attic releases “Earl’s Closet”, a treasure trove of unheard 70s recordings – from Hall & Oates to Tom Snow

Earl McGrath was an enigmatic figure of the American jet set of the 70s. He had variously worked as a record company executive, film manager, screenwriter and art dealer. After his death in 2016, journalist Joe Hagan discovered a treasure trove of rare and forgotten tapes in Earl’s New York appartment – including previously unheard recordings by Daryl Hall & John Oates, David Johansen of the New York Dolls, Tom Snow’s country-rock group Country, Terry Allen, The Jim Carroll Band and Glen Clark. With the double album “Earl’s Closet”, the renowned archival reissue label Light in the Attic now makes a selection of this unpolished and authentic recordings available to the public – a captivating journey through folk, rock, country, funk and R&B of the 70s.

Lost album: Linda Hoover’s “I Mean To Shine” featuring members of the original Steely Dan line-up is released for the first time after more than 50 years

Lost albums are often tainted with myth, just think of “Smile” by The Beach Boys. Now Omnivore Recordings has finally released Linda Hoover’s unissued first album “I Mean To Shine”, which she recorded in New York in 1970 together with Gary Katz, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen. This album is a treasure chest and a time capsule full of wonderful, previously unheard songs that take you back to the golden days of American singer-songwriter pop and also document Becker and Fagen’s work before Steely Dan. “I Mean To Shine” is one of the finest discoveries of the year.