The long-awaited new album “Music” by Dutch pop artist Tim van Berkestijn, better known by his stage name Benny Sings, will be released on 9 April featuring collaborations including Mac DeMarco, Tom Misch, Emily King, KYLE and Cautious Clay. “Here It Comes” is the latest single released with a lyric video directed by animator Sabrina Nichols.
Once a month we open the vaults of the WEST COAST SOUL record collection and take a look back at the classics of Soul, R&B and Funk from the 70s and 80s. Join us on a foray through a golden era of music history.
After two excellent EPs, Anglo-French duo Discodor finally released their wonderful eponymous debut album last month, full of lush arrangements, cinematic grooves, and slow funk that oscillates between French lounge plushness, library music sophistication, and hip, swinging 60s soundtrack grandeur. An album in cinemascope.
After a nearly ten-year hiatus, the legendary instrumental soul group Menahan Street Band will release their third album “The Exciting Sounds of Menahan Street Band” on February 26th, via Daptone Records. The result is an album that you no longer expected, but now do not want to miss. Great cinematic instrumental soul-funk, with which the musical collective from Brooklyn seamlessly connects to old great deeds. Definitely one of the soul albums of the year.
While winter still has Central Europe in its grip, Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18 bring us the first great summer album of the year with “Mas” via Légère Recordings. Like its predecessor, the highly acclaimed “Joia!”, this album is a collection of songs sung in Welsh, combined with distinct pop and South American influences from bossa nova, cumbia, samba and tropicália. Behind the project stands the Welsh musician Carwyn Ellis, founder and leader of Welsh band Colorama and renowned session man who has played with artists including Edwyn Collins, Oasis, The Pretenders and Shawn Lee. WEST COAST SOUL talked with the Cardiff-based singer, songwriter, composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist about cultural exchange, his fascination with South American sounds, recording the album in Rio de Janeiro and the role Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders played in the making of “Mas”.
With “Introducing…”, Brooklyn-born, Baltimore-raised songwriter Aaron Frazer has released one of the first album highlights of the year. Frazer previously stepped into the international spotlight as drummer and co-lead vocalist of the fabulous soul band Durand Jones & The Indications. The artist with the unique falsetto voice hadn’t planned on releasing a full-length solo LP until he received a call from Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, who was so taken with Aaron’s voice and songwriting that he quickly convinced him to produce his solo debut. The result is an album on which Frazer doesn’t hide his old school soul roots, but also opens up to other influences from pop to gospel to doo-wop. WEST COAST SOUL talked with the talented musician about the making of the record, high-speed songwriting sessions, musical influences and the importance of the right drum sound.
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.
With “Magic Mirror”, LA native singer-songwriter Pearl Charles has released her second album and takes her listeners into a musical wonderland, where the 29-year-old lives out her preferences for ABBA melodies, Laurel Canyon hippie dreaminess, sun-warmed West Coast soft rock and 70’s country-folk bliss. All this sounds very vintage, but never loses its current pop appeal. Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty would love this album.