One of the hallmarks of any great summer is the summer jam. You know what I’m saying: I’m talking about that song (or songs) that drops in or around the hot weather months and is so funky/fresh that it becomes your de facto soundtrack … at least until it starts getting chilly. Well, it turns out that a handful of Atlanta-dwelling (and/or ATL-affiliated) soul artists have stepped up to the plate this year to provide the city, the nation and the whole damn world with some seasonally dope anthems. Here’s a look at a few of the folks behind some of our favorite music of the moment:
Royal: In the last issue of Slo*Mo, we covered the record release party for the hip-hop/rock duo Royal (which went down at Apache Café and was dope as fuck), but we’re back writing about the crew now that its self-titled EP is, as of July 7, in stores. Made up of singer/musician Devon Lee and DJ/MC Mikeflo, Royal channels heaping helpings of sexual energy and political commentary into this debut project — the result is a multilayered collection of songs custom made for unabashed rocking out and analytical dissection. Driven by the single “Crash,” which features drumming legend Lil’ John Roberts on the track and “Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta” stars Ariane Davis and Mimi Faust in the video, the EP represents a true colliding of worlds … and that’s just what Mikeflo and Lee were going for. “It’s all connected to the culture,” says Lee. “It’s liberation. You have to be inclusive of everybody if you’re gonna reach anybody.” More info: allthewayroyal.com.
St. Beauty: When it comes to Janelle Monae’s eclectic Wondaland crew of artists — and their upcoming album “The Eephus” (to be released Aug. 14) — it seems like most music fans are into singer/rapper Jidenna and his radio- conquering tune “Classic Man.” But, we at Slo*Mo are more interested in the clique’s duo St. Beauty. The sound pumped out by this pair of super-cool ladies (Alex Belle and Isis Valentino) is quieter than their labelmates, but it’s also more soulful, while still packing a thumping beat when necessary. Check out their single “Going Nowhere” when “The Eephus” drops, and then catch them live when they (and the rest of Wondaland) play ONE Musicfest September 12. More info: www.stbeautyband.com.
Kameron Corvet: We’re still grooving to vocalist/musician Kameron Corvet’s last album “Darker Than Gray,” but he’s gearing up to release a brand-new EP titled “Due Process.” As we wait for that to drop, however, Corvet gifted listeners with the recently unveiled single “Nothing At All.” The cut marks a return to a more R&B- ballad sound, and honestly, it’s real pretty. Get it now on iTunes. More info: kameroncorvet.com.
Stan Zeff: The team behind the world famous house music party and growing record label Tambor is back with “Baka” — a brand-new track perfectly tailored for the dance floor. And this one, flavored with a driving African-inspired rhythm, is by Tambor co-founder/ DJ/producer Stan Zeff. More info: tamborparty.com/music.
Nicolay: In June, one-half of the N.C.-based hip-hop/ soul band The Foreign Exchange — Nicolay — unleashed his newest solo album, “City Lights Vol. 3: Soweto.” His latest work is keyboard-driven, bright and heavy on the instrumentals, with a peppering of vocals from his partner Phonte and Atlanta’s own Carmen Rodgers. The album sets the stage for the brand-new, full FE album, “Tales From the Land of Milk and Honey,” coming August 21. More info: www.theforeignexchangemusic.com.
Tres Gilbert: Known as one of Atlanta’s top bassists, Tres Gilbert stepped out in May with his very own solo project: “Trichotomy.” The album is dipped in soul, jazz, rock, funk and all kinds of originals and covers. And, Gilbert has even decided to pop from behind his guitar to sing on a few songs. Dude’s got the chops! More info: www.tresgilbert.com.
Mo Summer Jams:
Alexa Lima — “Alexa Lima.” More info: alexalimamusic.com.
The Internet (Playing at the 2015 edition of ONE Musicfest, September 12) — “Ego Death.” More info: www.internet-band.com.
Bilal (Performing July 18 at Center Stage) — “In Another Life.” More info: www.facebook.com/OfficialBilalPage.