Summer of Soul 2016: Latrese Bush, Anthony David + more artists to watch this season
As the hazy days of summer officially begin, the question for music heads quickly becomes: What new tracks will I be rocking for the hot-ass months ahead? Slo*Mo can help with that. Just check our handy list below — it features nine of our favorite artists (who just happen to dwell in Atlanta) and info about their latest releases (singles, EP and full albums). So take a look at what the local soul scene is offering, and then snag these dope sounds for yourself.
In a world of “microwave music,” where some of the dopest sonic creations by artists are too often seen as disposable, soul singer Latrese Bush is taking a novel approach to getting her tunes into the ears and hands of her fans.Fresh off the success of her hit duet with Noel Gourdin, “Because of You,” it would be standard practice for Bush to drop a full-length album or even an EP. Instead, the Atlanta-based vocalist is embarking on a yearlong journey that will see her releasing one new single on digital platforms every few months — and it starts with the mid-tempo, soon- to-be steppers classic “Love I Can Sing About,” which went on sale in early June.
She sees the single campaign, aptly titled “Singled Out,” as a way to give fans the chance to find her music and, ultimately, extend the life of her new sounds.
“The Singled Out campaign is one where I wanted to find a way to be more open and engaging with the audience … and connect in a way where I’m always giving my fan base something they want to hear,” says Bush. “The other aspect for me is … I like my songs. I like them all,” she adds. “I don’t want to have to choose which one to put out. I want to put them all out. Sometimes you put out a 12- song record and only two or three get to go play, and I don’t think that’s fair. And so, I decided that I don’t want anybody to put an expiration date on my music. I’m going to give them all their rightful place in the world to, hopefully, go all the way.”
Bush also plans to use the campaign as a way to throw a bigger spotlight on the people she works with to create her music.
“When I was growing up I absolutely enjoyed reading the liner notes of records, but when you buy a lot of stuff online, you don’t know who took part in actually creating the record,” she says. “So I want to ‘single out’ everyone who had a hand in creating the product that I’m releasing.” When it comes to exact release dates on the upcoming singles, Bush — hoping to keep fans on their toes — is holding details close to her vest. But with “Love I Can Sing About,” her summer song, leading the way, listeners can rest assured that they’ll be getting fresh material to groove to for the next 365 days. More info: www.latresebush.com.
Hip-hop veteran Cufrock has been away from the music industry for five years — busy spending quality time with his family and recording tons of tracks that weren’t being shared with the general public. But in May, the former member of the rap/rock crew El-Pus quietly unleashed a brand-new collection of songs, titled “Older,” that capture both his true-school tastes (on songs like “Black Ocelot”) and more avant-garde sensibilities (cuts like “Rappin’ With My Shirt Off”). And the project’s name also serves dual purposes, referring to the age of some of the tracks on the album and to his own age. “I’m a grown man. I’m in my 40s,” says Cuf. “I’m not gonna do young music. I’m gonna do music the way I know how to do music.” More info: www.reverbnation.com/cufrock
Sweet-voiced singer Nai Br.XX, along with producer/ collaborator Sensei Bueno, created a helluva buzz when they dropped their debut EP, “Wasted Callaway,” almost a year ago. These days, the duo is busy doing shows (like recently serving as openers for the L.A.-based soul/jazz trio Moonchild) and getting the word out about their latest, vibed-out tune, “LoveStruck” (which also features YouTube sensation Caleon Fox). But despite her slightly esoteric vocal style, Nai draws inspiration more from the pop-side of things. “I love Mariah Carey,” she says with a guilty laugh. “Her voice still sounds better than most of the artists out now!” On top of listening to Mariah B-sides and rocking the current single, Nai and Bueno plan to spend the summer working on another collection of songs — so stay tuned for more goodness soon. More info: www.naibrxx.com
The man behind the famed house music event series and record label Tambor has returned for the summer, offering up “Selecta” — a “compilation of Afro dance tracks” curated by Zeff. The album is chock full of dancefloor bangers by internationally known cats like the Infinite Boys, Anyboi and many more. Get your copy and get to movin’ them feet. More info: www.facebook.com/PlayTamborMusic
Wow — it’s been four years since singer/songwriter/musician Anthony David gave folks some new music? Hard to believe fans of the bluesy-soul vocalist have had to wait so long, but the wait is over with the release of his new single “Beautiful Problem.” Unleashed in May, the mellow-yet-beat-heavy track sets the stage for his forthcoming full-length album, “The Powerful Now.” Keep your ears peeled for more new music from this ATL icon. More info: www.rollingmojo.com
And while we’re on the subject of house music in Atlanta, singer Tasha LaRae (who folks may know as a member of the legendary Arrested Development crew or as the woman behind the Racism Sucks T-shirt line) let loose the new song “Find May Way” (and a slew of dope remixes) this past April. More info: www.tashalarae.com
Another locally based musician who is releasing new sounds after a hiatus is keyboardist/producer Michael Murani. Under the banner Meditative Funk, Murani is back with the new jazz-soaked song “Blue Skies” — with vocals by Julie Dexter, trumpet by Russell Gunn, and sax by Kebbi Williams, among other heavyweight musicians. More info: www.facebook.com/meditativefunk/
She may be known to many as a former BET reality TV star, but besides the fame she gained on cable, Leaf Newman has amassed a strong and loyal following for her incredible music. And, now, the singer/musician is finally giving fans a new full-length LP, “Flowers & Grass,” which dropped in late April and showcases 10 airy, light and guitar-driven jazz/pop/folk/soul songs. More info: leafnewman.bandcamp.com
You can catch DJ 100K every Wednesday working the boards on Slo*Mo’s “Mo Audio” radio show (on ABLRadio.com), but the dude’s talent extends way beyond that. Case in point: He just put out his second album — “Thursday Night Bounce.” 100K says the project, comprised of nearly a dozen house/ bass/electro-flavored ass-shaking anthems, “was inspired by the energy that permeates through the city of Atlanta every Thursday night.” Bottom line: You need these beats. More info: www.100ksounds.com