April’s Picks: June 2014

april picksGeez, is it June already? Time for April to bring you more (mostly) new music that you shouldn’t be missing.
Pay attention, this will be on the test:

1.) “Right Time,” Nikki Lane (All or Nothin’). “If you’re looking for trouble honey, I can show you how. My favorite time is right now.” Driven and authoritative rock n roll with a small dash of country. Nikki Lane presents with a heck of an album. Originally from Greenville, SC, she now calls Nashville home. Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) gets production credit.
2.) “All Falls Down,” California Breed (California Breed). “I should’ve been gone, but I came back for more.” Melodic hard rock from a group that are true players. They are fronted by Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Sabbath), Jason Bonham on drums and up and comer, Andrew Watt. A solid debut.
3.) “All Day Music,” War (Evolutionary). “Down at the beach or a party in town, making love or just riding around.” A perfect addition to your summer soundtrack. This tune has heady harmonies and a sweet as sugar, laid back groove. You can almost smell the suntan lotion.
4.) “Conviction,” Meshell Ndegeocello (Comet, Come to Me). “In this new version of the same old story the villain goes free and reaps all the glory.” The lady of bass offers up this airy, sultry track as the first single from her forthcoming album. Smooth and organic, Ms. Ndegeocello nails it.
5.) “The Weeds Downtown,” Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires (Dereconstructed). “But just consider the weeds downtown and how they grow. How the Queen Anne Lace covers hot parking lots like snow.” Raucous and a little rough around the edges, this gem from Alabama’s own brings the melody too. Lots of potential here, though the production could use some work.
6.) “Levitation,” Circa Zero (Circus Hero). “Dark clouds storm your skyline mind. Stare down the barrel of a firing line.” Beginning with a stark, driving guitar pluck, this song quickly builds into a deftly crafted pop/rock tune. Circa Zero features Andy Summers of The Police fame. You can definitely hear his influence.
7.) “Moving Mountains,” Blackwolf (The Hunt). “Comfort can kill a man’s courage and the miles that have primed his feet.” A hard hitting offering from the band hailing from Bristol, UK. Lead singer, Scott Sharp delivers with swagger and confidence. The undeniable musicianship of his band mates don’t let him down.
8.) “10 Lovers,” The Black Keys (Turn Blue). “Don’t leave us not in love again ’cause we might break instead of bend.” Sexy and soulful, this track features a slinky bass line, seventies influenced synths and a driving piano. Dan Auerbach is at his best weaving this tapestry of desire.
9.) “Busy Earnin’,” Jungle (Jungle). “You can’t get enough.” This genre busting track is a stone cold groove brimming with conviction. If just listening to the song doesn’t make you want to move, check out the video. I’m dancing in my mind as I write.
10.) “Come Alive,” Chromeo feat. Toro y Moi (White Women). “There’s still so much to discover. There’s still a lot we don’t know.” Chromeo is back with their signature sound well intact. Bouncy keyboards, catchy rhythms and sexual innuendo are at the heart of this infectious tune.

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