Widowspeak’s All Yours is just what we need to cool off during this hot, hot summer. The duo’s tunes are cool and meditative, evoking the feeling of watching a fading sunset over the forested hills of New York’s Hudson Valley, where the band resides. Molly Hamilton’s sweet vocals whisper over Robert Early Thomas’ dusky licks and a touch of organ on the sultry title track. The band mostly keeps things spare and dreamy, but they plug in to give tracks like “Dead Love (So Still)” a little raunch, coming off like the Velvet Underground’s third album reimagined as stoner country music. Elsewhere, Hamilton plays Nancy Sinatra to Thomas’ Lee Hazlewood on the sumptuous “Girls,” generating plenty of heat from a spacious, two-chord jam and Hamilton’s narcotic drawl, while “Borrowed World” sees Thomas take the mic for a spry duet (something the band should consider doing more often). Somehow, All Yours is both Widowspeak’s mellowest album and its most exciting. With a sharp focus on songwriting over ambiance and more room for Hamilton’s vocals to shine, they end up with their best, most distinctive album yet.
Dam-Funk is a modern funk musician, vocalist, producer and DJ signed to Los Angeles-based label Stones Throw Records. A Pasadena native, Damon Riddick began his career working in the studio with artists such as Master P and and MC Eiht before remixing Baron Zen's cover of The Gap Band's "Burn Rubber" in 2007 under the Dam-Funk moniker. The remix built a buzz and soon thereafter Dam-Funk recorded two 12"s for Stones Throw, 2008's Burgundy City and Let's Take Off (Far Away). In 2009, he compiled a five-volume LP set of unreleased material called Toeachizown, which was eventually turned into a two-CD set later in the year.
Over the course of his career, Dam-Funk has collaborated with a variety of artists, including Animal Collective, Nite Jewel, Ariel Pink, Peaking Lights and Hudson Mohawke. His album with Steve Arrington of SLAVE, Higher, and his album with Snoop Dogg, 7 Days of Funk, both came out via Stones Throw in 2013. Dam-Funk's third solo studio album and his first in six years, Invite the Light, is out this Friday, September 4 via Stones Throw.
Summer isn't over yet, and there are tons of great releases coming in the next few weeks. Check out our list of 20 upcoming albums, including new records from Lana Del Rey, David Gilmour, FIDLAR and more.
Beach House’s latest album strips back some of the pop shimmer of their last two albums while retaining the more confident songcraft they started debuting on 2010’s Teen Dream. First single “Sparks” is a powerhouse shoegazer that showcases the duo’s strengths, pairing Alex Scally’s emotive guitarwork with Victoria LeGrand’s lush, layered vocals.
February is Black History Month, and we’re celebrating with events around town. Below is a list of events taking place around Los Angeles this February.
Saturday Feb. 1 - Eyes On The Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965 – AC Bilbrew Library (150 E. El Segundo Blvd.) - 1 p.m.
The AC Bilbrew Library has a number of Black History events this month, starting with this film screening of Eyes on the Prize.
Sunday Feb. 2 – Target Sundays at CAAM 600 State Dr. - 1-5 p.m.
If you haven’t yet been to the Contempoary African American Museum, this might be a good reason to go. CAAM, as it is also known, kicks off BHM with a celebration of achievements in history, art and culture with live performances and an art workshop.
Monday Feb. 3 – Moses Sumney – Bardot Hollywood – 9 p.m.
Experimental soul-folk artist Moses Sumney takes the stage at Bardot Hollywood.