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Soul

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Freakout Standouts: Future Shock

 *photo by Travis Trautt

What can really be said about Future Shock? The duo, comprised of futuristic characters RayGun and The Doctor, can put your world down, flip it and reverse it with their sounds. They took over Hattie's Hat the first night of this year's Freakout Festival and in every sense, they definitely ran the place.

Commanding the back room of Hattie's with a creatively confident air, Future Shock were unapologetically themselves; their afro-nu wave-neo soul a force that no one in the audience could really reckon with. An amalgamation to the likes of Kraftwerk, Tribe Called Quest, Bowie and new wave greats, Future Shock, fog machine and bull horn in tow, ran through incredibly dancey tracks like "The Future," "Time & Space" and "Secret Weapon," all of which were very well received. With one of the most captivating and overall entertaining sets of the entire festival, if they weren't on your radar before they definitely need to be now.

They may not play sets very often but it's more than worth it if you're able to catch one. Follow Future Shock's Facebook to see when they're taking the stage next.

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Star Club bring a true "Nightmare" to life

Back when the weather and spirits alike were a bit brighter, we shared the first music video from art-wavers Star Club called "Saturday Night," along with a deeper look into the makes of the band and their late summer album Sixth Avenue Motel. We're now pleased to share the latest to come from the album, a music video for the smoothly loungy track "Nightmare."

Monochrome and wonderfully shot, the video for "Nightmare" creatively evokes the horror of how nightmares can feel so much like reality. In it, vocalist/guitarist Nate Lown is somewhat the cool, cornfield narrator hanging back as bassist Marcus Pizotchi is kidnapped and taken to a desolate location where some procedures are performed on him. If you've ever dreamt of some sort of Taken-meets-Saw situation the thought of this actually happening is terrifying, but at least Star Club make it look moody and cool.

See Star Club perform "Nightmare" and other songs off of Sixth Avenue Motel tomorrow headlining the Turn Turn Turn with a debut set from Martha Stax (members of Star Club, Rare Diagram, Ancient Elk and more), Wave Action and Oort. Also, send some birthday love to Pizotchi.

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The New Respects need "Something To Believe In" on soulful single

Nashville's soulful pop group The New Respects have exploded to a national audience in 2017 from Rolling Stone naming them one of "10 Artists You Need To Know" to opening for Robert Randolph & The Family Band. Their sound is ear-catchingly funky and dance-inducing. Their newest single, "Something To Believe In", "is about the longing to believe in goodness when it looks like there is no reason to," shares group member Jasmine Mullen. Hear the song below and catch The New Respects on tour with St. Paul and the Broken Bones at Marathon Music Works on December 1st! - Chris Thiessen

 

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Hi-Lo Jack (Dolapo Akinkugbe + Lawrence + Stolen Jars collab) unveils debut EP

Maybe the NYC indie scene has really entered a "post-white" phase, finally! When we started this blog back in 2004, indie rock, soul and hip hop really felt like separate scenes. The few notable exceptions, like TV on the Radio, paved the way to a rediscovery of soul music that reached maturity in the following decade, and that doesn't seem to slow down. Hi-Lo Jack, a collaboration between Dolapo Akinkugbe (of DAP The Contract), Clyde Lawrence (of soul-pop band Lawrence), and Cody Fitzgerald (of indie-rock band Stolen Jars, who graced our the cover of our last ever CMJ issue in 2015) is the latest NYC based project mixing the warmth of soul with the edge common to indie music. Check out single "So It Goes," streaming here.

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Freakout Standouts: Taylar Elizza Beth

 *photo by April Sol

Hip hop may have been one of the least represented genres at Freakout Fest this year, but the fest still managed to present strong acts of interest within the city's movement. One in particular proudly reps her White Center locale, and it's just another detail that adding to what makes Taylar Elizza Beth an artist to be aware of.

Friday was pretty lit at Hattie's Hat and quite a bit of that was because of Taylar Elizza Beth, also known as Taylar White. She's played packed houses before, like earlier this year at the Upstream Music Fest, but the mid-20s raptress (that's rapper and songstress, FYI) is gaining even more warranted attention as her late May EP Fresh Cut Flowers continues to secure its bag, so to speak.

Fresh Cut Flowers takes a different approach to hip-hop than her debut, 2014's The BLK EP. On it, her flow likens itself more to an old school delivery of loquacity, where with Flowers White is mellow and intimate with her recitation. This is no way takes away from the power and magnetism White emits during her performances, especially at Hattie's Hat, where she sucked everyone in like a vacuum. 

If you've yet to catch her live, follow Taylar Elizza Beth's Facebook for upcoming shows.

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