Friday, July 26, 2013

Don't Miss Quadron Play a FREE NYC Show at Summerstage on July 27th!

About a month ago, we posted a glowing review of Quadron's latest pop-centric offering off Vested in Culture Records, Avalanche. We basically came to the conclusion that it might be the best collection of get-out-the-massage-oils and come-a-little-closer pop/R&B/soul jams I’ve heard in recent memory. But some people are still asking "who dare make me rekindle my love affair with pop music?"

Coco & Robin, Quadron
The guilty party is Quadron, a duo consisting of vocalist Coco O. (who recently made the jangly throwback ’20s-style “Where the Wind Blows,” on The Great Gatsby soundtrack) and multi-faceted producer Robin Hannibal, (who is also part of Rhye and the duo Owusu & Hannibal). The project is an offshoot of the Boom Clap Bachelors, a Denmark-based collective. There, now we have that all cleared up, right? Sigh...

Let’s simplify: Coco O. fronts the band with a voice that sounds like Adele or Amy Winehouse—but without Adele’s boner-killer melodramatics and Winehouse’s propensity to get too drunk and ruin everything. That’s the band’s biggest asset: Coco’s pipes, laid over hip-hop stutter-step beats and hooky melodies that range from laid-back groove to near-perfect pop composition. Yes, they're from Denmark, yes, they're soul/R&B and pop. Oh, and before I forget to mention it, Kendrick Lemar guests on the album on a track called "Better Off."

Robin Hannibal, who's in charge of instrumentation, said they owe their style, at least in part, to none other than Michael Jackson. The band cited the King of Pop as a guiding musical influence, especially during the recording of Avalanche. In an interview with, Coco and Hannibal said that they channeled Jackson’s inspiration during sessions at Westlake Studios in Los Angeles, where Jackson recorded often and cut several songs for Bad. They even dubbed the sixth track on the album “Neverland.”

But it’s the first single, “Hey Love,” that’s most likely to bring the boys to yard. It’s the kind of track that you might hear from the DJ booth at a club with a ridiculous name like “Splash,” or “Rain,” or “Grift” or whatever, where girls wear their best get-fucked heels and guys pretend that they don’t live in their mother’s basements. It’s also the kind of track that you'd hear over the speakers at Forever XXI and think, “This song is so catchy! Why haven’t I heard it before? Who sings it? And since when did I start shopping at stores that sell only clothes that dead prostitutes are found in?”

I mean that as a high compliment—to Quadron. What I’m suggesting, or attempting to suggest, anyway, is that Quadron’s one-girl-one-guy dance-pop aesthetic appeals to different audiences—the teen-pop set, club goers, college kids, mollied-up dubsteppers, etc.—which might be enough for the band to build the buzz it needs to make its summer tour schedule a success. That’s the last piece of the puzzle for an outfit like Quadron: the live shows. If the band can pull off big, bombastic shows that get people talking, Epic might have something potent on its hands. They opened for Raphael Saadiq on his 2011 tour, so now it’s time for them to branch out and fly on their own.

Can they do it? Come by Summerstage at the Rumsey Playhouse in Central Park Saturday July 27th at 6:00pm to catch Quadron open a FREE show for Lianne La Havas. Get there early because something tells me its going to fill up fast. To get you psyched for the insane natural vocal talent of Coco, here is a special acoustic version of her single, Hey Love.

Quadron - Hey Love (Acoustic)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Another Song: Odetta, Motherless Children

by Justin (@justasstrazdin)

You know when you go to a discount superstore and they have a bin full of crappy DVD's for a dollar, but some of them have two movies packed onto the same disc, and they have little to do with each other, save for being kickass action movies from the same era? If you are like me, you typically buy it, take it home, watch both movies in one sitting, and never look back.

Odetta may have left this traditional song on the platter titled "Motherless Children," but soon after it starts, she jumps into the traditional "This Train," which was covered widely by folk artists thanks to the Lomax's. Who knew that two songs could sound the same musically?

Odetta's arrangement is fierce throughout the combo song, weaving between sounding powerful, yet at times, wary, while handling the dark subject matter and religious undertones so naturally that it's a shame that she is left out of a lot of conversations about the Folk Revival that was so critical to American music.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sinkane Gives Exclusive Interview to #EDAS. Plays Lincoln Center tonight (7/24) for Fela Kuti.

Today marks the beginning of the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival. Tonight's show pays homage to Fela Kuti and is produced by one of the finest curator's around, Anthony Demby of HumbleRiot. One of the stars of the show is Sinkane, who I bumped into at last month's summerstage show opening for Fela's Son, Femi Kuti. After talking about how we lived in neighboring dorms freshman year at The Ohio State University, I was able to convince frontman, Ahmed Gallab, to sit down with Every Day, Another Song and answer some more music-centric questions. 

People braving the heat for Sinkane at Summerstage
EDAS: I know your path has taken you from Omdurman, Sudan to Columbus, Ohio and now to Brooklyn, but where does your music come from? 

AG: My music comes from all that I have experienced in the world. [These places] are all different. That's what makes them so interesting. I have spent a great deal of my life traveling and learning about different things. I'm drawn to unique and interesting people and situations so every experience in different and exciting.

EDAS: There is some amazing, world influenced music coming out of Columbus Ohio these days, why do you think this town specifically is having so much success fusing these long estranged musical types together?

AG: It's easy to live in Columbus. There also isn't much to do so creative people have the freedom to really work on their art. This yields amazing art. Because there isn't a serious competitive vibe in Columbus; community thrives and is well respected there. People love each other and sincerely support each other. This helps tremendously.

EDAS: You cut your teeth in Ohio's Punk Scene. What is the difference between your attitude then, and your worldly and jammy attitude today?

AG: I was young, naive and angry back then. I wanted to emote and I wanted to do it loudly. Playing drums in a hardcore band was incredibly therapeutic for me. I got a lot of out it. I am now older, more experienced and not angry. Love was always there but, now that the anger is gone, I can embrace it whole-heartedly.

EDAS: Last time we saw each other was at Femi Kuti's Summerstage show. Tonight you play a show honoring Fela Kuti. How does Fela and the Kuti legacy affect young African musicians today.

AG: He was a hardworking man with a vision. He created something larger than himself that will live on forever. That is inspiring to me.

Make sure you head over to beautiful Lincoln Center tonight to the Damrosch Park Bandshell and catch Ahmed and his band Sinkane perform alongside Baloji, Abena Koomson, Kronos Quartet, and M1 (of Dead Prez), in addition to many others. I'm pretty sure the show is free and the atmosphere over there is absolutely beautiful. I can't think of a better way to spend a hump-day evening. 

In case you need a little convincing, here is a taste of the great world vibes Sinkane will be bringing to the bandshell tonight. 

Sinkane - Jeeper Creeper