Hi and welcome to Alternative Airwaves – I’m your host Steve, bringing you the best in Creative Commons music. This is the Weekly Airwave: one track with some information about the song or the artist.
This week’s track: Problems by The DLX. Problems is an R&B-leaning pop track from American artist The DLX, based in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. No albums on Jamendo, but there are three singles you can check out. I liked this one for its simple beat and lyrics. Find out more about The DLX at the dlx dot net.
Be sure to check out alternative airwaves dot com for more podcasts and music reviews. See you next time.
Ottawa’s annual Bluesfest has really become a popular international music festival in the last several years. The common joke locally centres around its lack of actual “Blues” in the headliners – but really, so much of today’s music has its roots in blues, it doesn’t really matter to me.
This year the biggest story was the killdeer nest preventing the main stage from going up for a little while. Luckily that didn’t stop anything, and the festival kicked off last night with leMeow and Bryan Adams. Tonight is Jethro Tull but I wanted to highlight a local artist performing Saturday: JENNA Nation. Her bio:
Born in Ottawa, Canada, JENNA Nation was introduced to music at an early age through her musical family. She began her career with extensive training and success with classical music/opera, jazz and then with R&B/soul while studying and graduating Summa Cum Laude with her Vocal Performance Degree from the famed Berklee College of Music. An outstanding vocalist with a charismatic stage presence, JENNA Nation progressed to hit some significant milestones early in her career.
JENNA Nation boasts a soulful and even jazzy vibe to her music. Long-time influences include Michael Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland and Stevie Wonder—a notable name with whom she aspires to collaborate. JENNA Nation has worked with a number of Grammy and JUNO-nominated producers and songwriters with whom she collaborated to create her third and fourth albums of all original music. JENNA Nation’s fourth album, ‘You Don’t Know’ (2017) has already received numerous accolades. The album was named Canada’s Best R&B Album of 2017, one of the Top 10 Best Records of the Year and #9 Best Album of 2017.
Her music is all available on multiple platforms; I listened to 2017’s “You Don’t Know” on Spotify, and really enjoyed the R&B album. Nation is probably one of the few artists on the Bluesfest slate actually playing a form of blues. I especially liked “It’s You” – it’s got a great percussion beat and I enjoyed the lyrics.
JENNA Nation plays at 5PM on the Main (City) Stage, ahead of Amos the Transparent (another local) and The Strumbellas. Sounds like a great lineup to me. You can get tickets at www.ottawabluesfest.ca.
Artist: Jordan Max
Album: Only One Is King
“Only One Is King”, an EP by Jordan Max released 2 years ago, is an artist/album that has shot up my personal charts.
Some background on Max – he’s a British artist and recently signed to Danger Mouse for publishing. He’s got a new single out (“War” – check out the video here), but Only One Is King was released independently.
Actually, the story behind the album is kind of cool. From a press release for his single “War”:
Jordan Max made his debut in 2016 with his EP Only One Is King, written and recorded in the bedroom of his childhood home. Lead single “Hell” showcased his unique sound and earned him a spot on Complex’s “10 British R&B/Soul Artists To Watch in 2017,” in addition to praise from Consequence of Sound, i-D, Pigeons & Planes, Fader and more.
His sound reminds me a lot of Alt-J, but a bit more on the bluesier side than rock. There’s quite a bit of darkness in his music as well, which at times seem to follow what I see as a bit of a trend in the alt-rock scene. Still, blues & soul permeate through the tracks to make a unique sound.
Keep your ears open for more from Jordan Max, it’s worth a listen. I give this EP 4/5.
This past Friday June 1, electronic pop artist FLAVIA released a new single called “Hateful”. Prior to this track, I had never heard of Flavia, so I’ll let the press release do some talking:
FLAVIA is an electronic pop artist based in Los Angeles, CA. She mixes dark pop and futuristic R&B, exploring the borderland of yesterday’s soul and tomorrow’s electronica. She started to write music at a young age in Ireland and Italy, where she spent her formative years. Having moved often growing up, she feels the closest thing to home-base in her music. “It’s a part of me,” she says. “I couldn’t escape it event if I wanted to.”
In listening to “Hateful”, I definitely caught wind of all of these influences in her music. Oddly enough I also got a bit of a “Lorde” vibe in her music, which is not at all a bad thing.
Here’s some info about the new track:
Sharing a powerful message for kindness, strength, and human condition, Hateful was inspired by FLAVIA’s own real-life experiences. Reflecting on such experiences opened the way for the larger issues of animosity, division, and bullying in our society today. With the release of her debut single, FLAVIA hopes to reach out to victims of hatred and bullying, and to remind people to treat others with love and respect.
I can get behind that sentiment. I think that a lot of people share her views toward bullying (online bullying especially) so hearing art related to that is welcome. It helps take the power away from the people who would direct their hatred toward us.
As for listening the track itself, you can find it on Spotify! Check out Flavia’s website at http://www.flavia.la, and be sure to check out her YouTube channel as well! It opens up with the track “No Gravity” and it’s super cool.