It’s been heartwarming seeing all of the music videos compiled of video submissions from people all over the world during lockdown. Today Pragnya Wakhlu has released her own music video featuring lovely video submissions and it is a lighthearted watch that will keep you going if you’re feeling down about this whole situation. About the video, Pragnya asked fans to send a video representation of what love means to them, and it’s interesting seeing different interpretations from people all over the world. You can watch the music video for “Fallin'” below:
Artist: Pragnya Wakhlu
New Delhi based singer songwriter and activist Pragnya Wakhlu is not the kind of artist who wants to be pigeonholed in one category. She recognizes the endless possibilities of having an eclectic style, and her refusal to be categorized is at it’s most evident on her new single “Fallin'” which finds her departing from her previous work and exploring the realms of “Jazz” and “Soul,” and it goes over stunningly well. Featuring New Delhi born “Jazz” musicians, “Fallin'” is a more personal track about an unrealized relationship and unrequited love. We’ve all been there before right? We’ve at some point faced the pains and uncertainty of a one-sided relationship as we fall in love with someone who doesn’t reciprocate the love-driven actions you give them, and Pragnya beautifully expresses these feelings with a smooth and infectious voice that will soften the hardest hearts and make anyone swoon. While the subtle but captivating saxophone and piano soar, Pragnya questions if the person she desires will ever be hers as she sings with a bit of hope regardless of her uncertainty. You’re definitely on her side when hearing this track as you cheer her on. It’s a beautiful tune. “Fallin'” will appear on her upcoming third album Lessons in Love, which will be released later in the year.
Written By: Steven Sandoval
Artist: King Krule
Album: Man Alive!
Genre: Art Rock/Post-Punk/Jazz
Label: True Panther Sounds/XL Recordings/Matador
When going into a King Krule album you can always expect to be emotionally and mentally exhausted when coming out of the album, and I mean that in the kindest way possible. Archy Marshall under the “King Krule” moniker has had quite the evolution in recent years. Going from his early Jazz-oriented sound to his smooth Trip-Hop style of his music under his real name Archy Marshall to 2017’s critically acclaimed The OOZ, one thing has remained certain, Marshall will always wear his heart on his sleeve and be uncompromisingly honest, resonating with countless people whom find solace in his moody introspective reflections and worldview, people including myself, but that doesn’t exempt him from criticism. As a matter of fact, I was quite critical of his last album The OOZ. Though the album featured some of his best work, it was frustratingly bloated and extensive, and would have been a more solid and cohesive effort had he trimmed the fat. The length and unfinished filler tracks that littered that album are what keeps me from listening to the album in it’s entirety whenever I revisit it, but where that album faltered, Marshall took those misfires and improved them immensely on his new album Man Alive! This album is a massive improvement and has a reasonable length. Marshall continues to experiment with the abstract, the genre blends of Post-Punk, Jazz, and Hip Hop, and his lyrics are as introspective and poetic as ever. Following the birth of his son, Marshall is naturally in a different spot in life right now, which explains the more optimistic tone that combats much of the album’s despondence. For those moments where Marshall delves into the pains of solitude, he carries a light of hope. The blend of saxophone-driven Jazz but not your Father’s Jazz and artistic Post-Punk with Marshall’s rough and gruff vocals is what we’ve come to expect at this point, but where much of the tracks that found him going in that direction on The OOZ sounded like unfinished vignettes, that sound is perfectly honed and fully-fleshed out on Man Alive! and like I said earlier, this album is filled with introspection, poetry, and swagger that evokes the same cool spirit of artists like Tom Waits or Nick Cave. Lyrically the album deals with themes of losing connection with people, solitude, the state of our technology-driven world, addiction, and most importantly, the love he feels for his partner and his newborn son. That’s where the optimism lies, and it’s nice to see Marshall acknowledging the light after much acknowledgement of the melancholy. This is by far his best work.
Written By: Steven Sandoval
Artist: The Comet is Coming
Album: Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery
Genre: Jazz/Nu-Jazz/Electronic/Psychedelic Rock
Label: Impulse! Records
Listening to London based trio “The Comet is Coming” is like having an LSD infused spiritual journey that is both meditative and exhausting. The attention to instrumental detail whether it be the spacey “Electronic” inspired keyboards, the crisp drums, or the sharp skittering saxophone which takes front and center, one thing is for sure, something in their music will resonate with you and pummel you with both tumult and melodic beauty. Self-described as “apocalyptic space funk,” the band fully introduced us to their world on their 2016 debut Channel the Spirits, now the band have returned with their follow-up Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery. This album focuses even further on the themes of apocalypse and chaos completely through improvisational instrumentation. It’s darker in tone but no less melodic and immensely jam-filled. However, not much has changed from their previous work. This album is more of the same, but as of right now that’s okay, because the music still captivates and immerses you into their beautifully chaotic world, and to be able to do that with instrumentation alone and only one track that has spoken word vocals is no easy feat. Upon hearing them, it’s inevitable to yearn for a live experience of the band, and they have impressively captured what it must be like to see them live on record. This album is a reminder that “Jazz” infused improvisation is still alive and well, with the genre exploring new territories, and in the wake of this new-found interest in “Jazz,” this album couldn’t have arrived at a better time.
Written By: Steven Sandoval
Artist: Angel Bat Dawid
Album: The Oracle
Genre: Avant-Garde Jazz/Improvisational Jazz
When drive overcomes the derailment of tough obstacles, the achievement of personal success is that much more rewarding. Clarinetist, pianist, and singer Angel Bat Dawid overcame rough obstacles to see her dreams of recording an album through, the result, her debut album The Oracle is an enlightening spiritual journey through the empowerment of being African American, but this album also recognizes the many hardships African Americans face. “What should I tell my children who are black of what it means to be captive in dark skin?” asks Dawid on the track “What Should I Tell My Children Who Are Black (Dr. Margaret Burroughs)” a track filled with moody keyboards and choir-like vocals most likely comprised of overdubs of Dawid herself, seeing as how most of the album was recorded entirely by her, and this line is probably the most pivotal, because much of the album speaks on the subject of race, and it’s done in a vain of “Avante-Garde Jazz” filled with Dawid’s bellowing clarinet, melodic keys, and wailing vocals, often improvisational. The lo-fi nature of the production adds a rawness and humanity to the album, with Dawid’s complex clarinet playing that goes astray but somehow still manages to compliment the other minimal backing elements of the instrumentation. Much of the album’s lyrical content is often short and repetitive, but it works well and bluntly gets the point across. Dawid comes from an improvised Jazz scene in Chicago, and she has impressively captured that atmosphere on record with The Oracle. One can only imagine how enthralling it must be to see her live and feeding off of other fellow improvisational musicians. That spirit is incredibly captured on the track “Capetown,” where Dawid and drummer Asher Simiso Gamedze have an all-out jam session that creates such a discombobulating but captivating experience. This is an album that showcases how less is more, with lyrical content that gets straight to the matter at hand, and instrumentation that fully utilizes minimalistic production to emphasize the invigorating and impressive multi-talented skill of Dawid. Hopefully this is only the beginning of a fruitful career of vast experimentation for Angel Bat Dawid.
Written By: Steven Sandoval