Atlanta soul summer jams: Cortney LaFloy, Mereba, The APX + more
Cortney LaFloy — “No Time” + “Crossroads”
Since debuting on the scene in 2014 with hit track “Dance4You,” singer/dancer Cortney LaFloy has become one of the most consistent voices for house music coming out of Atlanta. She’s been dropping new cuts on an almost annual basis, and her latest single — “No Time” (written by LaFloy and produced by Rick Lenoir) — was released just a few months ago, along with a slew of remixes. We’ve even caught wind of yet another single, titled “Crossroads,” that she recently dropped. So, make no mistake, she’s been putting in work.
And it’s not just about quantity; the Chicago native’s songs, while straight-up dance floor bangers, serve to tell stories about life, love and the human condition. On “No Time,” for example, she turned the focus to figures in her own life who chose to judge her as she juggled music and motherhood at the same time. “[The song] is from a real experience,” said LaFloy. “I’m not gonna name names. But I will say, if certain people hear this, folks aren’t going to question if it’s about them.”
To hear LaFloy delve deeper into her creative process and her life, listen to her interview on Slo*Mo’s “Mo Audio” podcast. And for more info about her, “No Time” and other releases, visit: www.facebook.com/cortneylafloy.
Sy Sez featuring Cleveland Jones — “With You”
Vanco featuring Akua Taylor — “Free” + The Ricky Corey Collective — “Who Do You Love?”
While we’re on the subject of house music, take note that a handful of other ATL-dwelling artists have also recently released some noteworthy house songs: Catch soul vocalist Cleveland Jones, along with Sy Sez, on the track “With You”; South African DJ/producer Vanco teamed with Atlanta singer Akua Taylor on “Free”— for hometown record label Tambor Music; and, courtesy of the legendary Kai Alce’s N.D.ATL Muzik imprint, The Ricky Corey Collective (helmed by local keyboardist Ricky Corey) pumps out a remake of the classic boogie tune “Who Do You Love?”
Mereba — “The Jungle Is the Only Way Out”
Atlanta expat Mereba made a ton of noise when she was a fixture of the local music scene, and lucky for us, her time living in L.A. hasn’t stopped her productivity. The fruits of her continued labor can be seen and heard in her newest EP, “The Jungle Is the Only Way Out,” which dropped in February and blends intimate soul and folk sounds with hip-hop and other beat-heavy vibes. Check out her new stuff in person when she plays Center Stage, opening for J.ID., June 19.
More info: www.merebamusic.com.
CC Sunchild — “Air”
Unparalleled pianist and vocalist CC Sunchild has performed with a plethora of major-league artists over the years — everybody from Raphael Saadiq to Caron Wheeler, Patti LaBelle and India.Arie, among many others — but her debut solo album, “Air,” puts all of her incredible talents on front street. The 10-song collection is ambitious and genre-defying, blending soul with pop, jazz, classical and anything else she feels like. The end result is a gumbo that will make you wanna go back for seconds (and thirds).
More info: www.ccsunchild.com.
Three5Human — “No Notes Wasted”
Locally based and internationally respected black rock gods Three5Human returned on the scene this spring after a long-ass hiatus with the album “No Notes Wasted.” The project is a guitar-driven, but super funky, collection filled with loud riffs, wailing vocals and all the best elements of classic rhythm and blues.
More info: www.three5humannonoteswasted.com.
Kameron Corvet — “The Essentials”
Hot off the heels of his Grammy win (for co-penning the Sting and Shaggy reggae jam “Don’t Make Me Wait”), singer/musician Kameron Corvet served up his new “The Essentials” project in April. As the title suggests, the album is a greatest hits of sorts, collecting some of his most beloved songs from across his rather large body of work — everything from the melodic “Sophia Quinn” to the jazzy strings of “Going Under” and much, much more.
More info: www.facebook.com/KameronCorvetMusic.
Latrese Bush — “I’ll Keep Loving You”
Gospel-drenched soul singer Latrese Bush is sporting a new 4-track EP, “I’ll Keep Loving You,” these days — but if you want to get your hands on it, you have to check out one of her live shows. That’s right: no digital downloads, it’s a concert exclusive. And your next opportunity to cop the album, which features never-released material, is at The Latrese Bush Experience June 27 at City Winery. Tickets are available at: citywinery.com/atlanta.
More info: www.latresebush.com.
The APX — “Amplified Experiment”
ATL-based duo The APX returns with their newest full-length project, “Amplified Experiment,” where they continue to explore the synth-funk sounds that put them on the map. This time around, keep your ears peeled for cameos from Teddy Riley, Jody Watley, Zapp Band, Mink Slide and more. And be sure to check out The APX live at their official album release party June 14 at the Music Room (RSVP at www.eventbrite.com).
More info: theapxmusic.com.
Shanti Om — “Such Is Life”
Singer Shanti Om reaches true artistic heights on her newest EP, “Such Is Life,” which — with its intentional sparseness — features a soundscape that’s fully powered by her expansive and multifaceted voice. If your ears are in need of something fresh, this one’s gonna be your best bet.
More info: www.store.cdbaby.com/cd/loveshantiom4.
Leaf Newman — “7even21”
Singer-songwriter Leaf Newman’s brand-new album, “7even21” (slated to drop July 21), was inspired by “research … [which] reveals that toxic thoughts promote physical, mental and spiritual sickness, while non-toxic thought promotes love and life. It takes 7 minutes a day for 21 days to replace one toxic thought.” The seven songs on this project, created in collaboration with Atlanta-based DJ/producer TheFreezProject, are each 7 minutes and 21 seconds long and written to replace seven toxic thoughts Leaf discovered she was thinking.
More info: www.leafnewman.com.
MO Summer Sounds
Honesty — “Honesty Speaks” (EP available now): www.hyperurl.co/honesty.
The Black Bettys — “Waitin’” (single available now): www.theblackbettys.com.
The Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra — “Pyramids” (album available August 30): ropeadope.com.
Julie Dexter — “Déjà Vu” (album coming soon): www.juliedexter.com.