Summer of Soul Soundtrack: New music from Khari Cabral Simmons, Maleke O’Ney + more

Khari Cabral Simmons: “Soulbossa”

If you’re in the market for some breezy, tropical sounds for the summer, look no further than “Soulbossa” — the new EP from celebrated ATL musician/producer Khari Cabral Simmons. Music heads probably recognize him as the bassist who plays alongside India.Arie, but he’s garnered a reputation for crafting Brazilian-influenced soul sounds via his band Jiva, alongside singer Julie Dexter (on the album “Moon Bossa”) and as a solo artist (on albums like “Clementine Sun” and “Heaven and Earth”). With “Soulbossa,” Simmons continues his exploration into the sound — paying sonic homage to cats like Sergio Mendes, Quincy Jones and more.

The new six-track project, co-produced by Daz-I-Kue and released on the U.K-based Dome Records, presents remixed versions of songs from his catalog (a Rio ’78 Mix of “78 & Sunset,” for example) along with new cuts (such as his cover of the Hermeto Pascoal classic “Capivara”). This mixed bag of material, says Simmons, is a perfect fit for the EP format.

“I’ve always liked EPs. I enjoy that small, 25 to 30 minute sort of vignette [of an EP],” he says. “I look at [full] albums like I look at books: Chapter 1 has to have something to do with Chapter 13, right? Whereas, I look at an EP as a collection of short stories.” Dome dropped “Soulbossa” in Europe on June 15; it’ll be available in the states later this summer. (And to hear a full-length interview with Simmons, listen to him on the Mo Audio podcast.)

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Maleke O’Ney: “Confessions of a Pentecostal Girl”

Like we mentioned earlier in this issue, singer Maleke O’Ney’s new album — “Confessions of a Pentecostal Girl” — is out now, and it’s an ultra-funked up evolution of her already funky sound. The 12-track collection touches on themes of religion, sex, love, all projected through the prism of O’Ney’s gospel-meets-George-Clinton-tinged vocals.

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Emdee Brown: “Hold On”

Soul, hip-hop and jazz collide on “Hold On” — the new genre-jumping and socially relevant single from vocalist Emdee Brown. The track represents some of the newest music we’ve heard from the L.A.-bred/ATL-based artist since he dropped his “Golden Butterfly” EP in 2013 — and it’s well worth the wait.

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Water Seed: “Say Yeah!!”

And while we’re on the subject of funk, Atlanta expat crew (and current New Orleans residents) Water Seed hits back on June 22 with its new album, “Say Yeah!!” — recorded live at NOLA’s famed Blue Nile. Get you some.
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