SZA – Julia

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There is a lot to say about SZA; she is sort of R&B in a way that The Weeknd is R&B. I have previously referred to her as female version of Tom Krell, that still holds when considering her earlier releases, like the beautiful “Country” which builds on a clear yet subtle Empire Of The Sun sample. “Ice.Moon” was a track that certainly got my attention and after that there was no doubt of what a wonderful gifted musician she is. Her second EP S, released earlier this year, further substantiated this impression. The EP included the brilliant “Aftermath”, which sound and production wise could’ve easily fitted on Miguel’s Kaleidoscope Dreams, and the first version of “Castles” that contained a sample from Fleetwood Mac’s “Everywhere”. The track was later unfortunately taken down, almost certainly due to legal concerns. No matter, a new version is up now and it’s almost equally good. Up to that point, everything she’s done seemed effortless, filled with quirky creativity yet very much rooted in pop.

Yesterday it was announced that SZA signed to TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment), home of Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q and Jay Rock to name a few. So we don’t have to worry, she’s in good company. In addition to the announcement, a new Felix Snow and Dave Free produced track was premiered titled “Julia”. It is by far her most pop oriented to date, working almost like an 80’s R&B-pop (think Janet Jackson and you’re not far off), and even though it’s a bit less effortless and experimental, it’s just as good as anything she’s released beforehand (and as usual, the album cover is strikingly beautiful).

“Julia” is expected to be a part of her next EP titled Z.

My Morning Jacket – Dondante (2005)

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retro_turntable_speckcase-p176835142239651308en7rr_216Taken from the album Z, released in 2005, “Dondante” is by far the most glorious song MMJ ever recorded. The moody jazzy drum section in the beginning with the barely audible guitar in the background, to Jim James haunting high pitched lyrics about his childhood friend who took his life and then to the sudden blast into a desperately intense, yet unexpected chorus, trailed by a massive guitar solo that keeps on going and going, driving into total bliss. At the end, accompanied by a chilling lonely saxophone, it all fades out into several seconds of still silence. We chose the live performance from Okonokos instead of the album version, its simply live music of the highest caliber. We would even go so far as to claim that this is one of the best live performances ever. Nuff said. Continue reading