Sounds of the week: Arthur Russell

Music Reviews

ARTHUR RUSSELL

Calling out of Context

This week’s sounds of the week we have the eclectic Arthur Russell. I came across the ’08 documentary Wild Combination: A portrait of Arthur Russell by Matt Wolf last week and was so surprised by what I saw. I was even more surprised by what I heard. Through a mirage of different home videos, clips from the artist’s past, and photos served as the introduction to a musician who seemed to embody what it meant to be a creator. In the documentary it was made clear that Arthur’s life revolved around music and the creation of sound. From the instrumentation to the signature echo in his voice, all aspects of his music involve a wild combination of sounds. Sounds that turned into songs which captured intimate and feeling driven moments in the artist’s life.

Trailer for Wild Combination Documentary

As I write I am listening to the Calling out of Context album, released posthumously by Arthur’s estate in 2000. An original compilation of sounds from what appears to be a multitude of sources, the 1 hour project takes you through seemingly honest renditions of the artists’ thoughts and experiences at a point in time. My favorite song from this album is That’s Us/Wild Combination. I really like how simple the songs appear at first, but once I listened a few times the layers to the song became apparent. The nuance of his singing, paired with the unpredictable melody, created a sound like none that I have heard before. One minute into the song I find myself dancing along to lyrics like:

Hard as I can be,
 it's never too hard
With this our love to see, by it's own light
Love inside of me, it's working at night
 

The sentiment of feeling love for another and ones self is relatable and touching to hear. This was a cool introduction to an artist I’ll be listening a lot going into this new year. It’s fascinating to learn how he created an abundance of music during his time. All despite not being chosen as a mainstream artist of his generation. A real testament to following ones passions in life with a faith that may appear blind to some, but at heart is what you came here to express in a way that is true. Thank you Arthur Russell, a truth sharer and inspiration to all artist out there. And Thank you Matt Wolf for making the film that brought this sound to my awareness.

Give it a listen for yourself and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Love and Sunshine, Peace

-Lee Sunshine

Sounds of the week

Music Reviews

TORO Y ROME VOL. 1

Image Source

Kicking off this weeks Sounds are the Lovelee Rome Fortune and Toro Y Moi. Toro is one of my favorite artist. So listening to this collaboration between him and a new favorite, Mr. Rome, was super dope. The first song I heard from the project was 1000mph, when it popped up on my Spotify discover playlist last winter. Then I listened to the full Ep for the first time this past week and it was a much welcomed new sound. Rome’s conscious flow paired with Toro’s wavey vibes gives us 5 tracks of volume one (of what I hope to be a series of volumes) from these two creative beings. Listening to Love Yourself feels like a gift of affirmation, you really should

"Love yourself, love yourself
Look in the mirror, say "I love you"

hearing lyrics like these is what excites me about the music that is now coming back full circle from a time when music was about expression and uplifting those who listened to what was being shared.

BREAK AWAY

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Next up is the first Ep from the Lovelee Jubilee Jackson; writer, producer, and performer of Break Away. Everything about this project is beautiful, from start to finish you can hear and feel innerstandings of truth.

One of my favorite tracks is Solace , which opens with the most heart opening guitar solo. If you like instrumentals in the same lane as bands like Khruangbin, then listening to Solace will take you to the same place. The place where a guitar can sing a melody that resonates as if words had been spoken in the same tune. It carries you right into the song with more lyrical affirmations like:

"So I should breath in and close my eyes 
I can be myself through the day and night "

&

"I'm free to speak, think , and believe 
All this comes naturally 
Your suppression won't change me 
In solace I will BE"

Hearing projects like these is inspiring in a day and age where genuine expression through words and sound is harder to come by. Listening to artist like Rome Fortune and Jubliee Jackson give the listener more than just a song, you get an experience. Listening to Break Away is an experience worth having again and again.

NEO SURF

I love love love 070 shake and was happy to see a new release from them. I’ve been listening to this everyday non-stop since watching the music video.

With their signature deep and emotive voice, 070 takes us along the waves of their new single Neo Surf . This song sounds like a stroll back in time, yet the music video takes us into the near future. I feel calm, cute, and very cool when I’m listening to this, whether it’s in the car or with headphones. The song takes you away and places you back gently, with a smile on your face.

I look forward to hearing more stories from all of these artist.

Hope ya’ll enjoy, let me know what you think?

Lee Sunshine

Sounds of the week: Sparks

Music Reviews

SPARKS!

The dynamic duo that has stood the test of time, an evolution of sound that can inspire and move you

This weeks sound comes from brothers Ron and Russell Mael, a pair who were for sure put here to create sound and share their music with the world. I discovered Sparks this week because of the awesome documentary they released on Netflix called The Sparks Brothers. It blew my mind that they’ve been making music since the 70s and are still going strong. Their sound has kept up with the times because they aren’t afraid to change or try something new. Listening to their music and watching their videos inspired me, if these guys can make music for over 20 years with the same enthusiasm for their craft each time, then I can totally switch it up and try out anything I’d like when it comes to creating and making new things of my own. Here are some of my favorite songs so far:

Repetition and emotion drive this song right where it needed to be, releasing an album called lil’ Beethoven gave me high expectations and they were exceeded. I imagined the instrumentals would be great and they really are, what they are able to do with one phrase was so lovely. I love this song, I was driving home yesterday when it came on and felt like I was in a scene of a movie where the main character does something cool and drives away at the end as a montage of their journey goes across the screen.

I have never heard music like this right here , this right here sounds like the essence of alternative sound. The lyrics are cheeky and simple, I love how they combine the instrumentals with their lyrics in a way that creates a story in the mind when you listen to it. Their music videos go together perfectly with all their projects, you can tell they really care about their music and what it is that they share.

Podcast inspired by the group

Sounds of The Week: Gus Dapperton + Coco & Clair clair

Music Reviews

Mr. Gus Dapperton

Music is one of my loves in this life of mine. I am soul grateful for sound, and the creativity that inspires beings generation after generation to make music that touches the hearts and minds of many. Lately I’ve found myself getting back into the way I fell in love with music; listening to music every day, starting the day with music, watching music videos and dancing. I started sharing music from my custom spotify playlists on Instagram awhile ago but didn’t keep up with it during the winter time. Now that I have this space to share, I wanted to write about some of my fav sounds of the moment. This week I am really vibing with Verdigris by the lovelee Gus Dapperton, a being of many talents who makes me wanna dance and sing with his upbeat voice and lively keyboard solos. I’ve been listening to this non-stop since last week and was excited to start my week with this song this rising. It is they type of song that calls you in and makes you want to sing along, a lot of Gus Dapperton’s music has that affect it seems. This entire album has no skips, not a pause, not a flop. Wether you’re making dinner or on your way out these sounds can make the moment feel great.

My new fav pop girlies

Another fav this week takes us back in time to a cute popy 80s vibe with crushcrushcrush by the lovelee duo Coco & Clair Clair. I wish I would’ve discovered this song in the summer time 😩 but it is so good to hear it now. Super cute and upbeat, the lyrics are dope as well. Coco & Clair Clair never disappoint with the simple yet quirky bars in their songs. My fav line is

“Let’s hang & watch Purple Rain (Pow pow)
You’ve got my attention (Pow pow)
You kind of look like a duck
But a bitch might start quackin’ (Pow)”

10/21/21 Today I watched Coco & Clair Clair videos for the first time and just had to come back to give them their due just. Their music slaps, its catchy and super cute. When I’m rapping and singing along I feel like I’m talking to one of my girlfriends who always makes me laugh. Their videos are very original and funny, they seem like artists true to their ways. I’m for sure a fan, now I’ll be looking forward to their next album. Here are a couple more jams from the duo that I’m enjoying on this lovely Thursday afternoon:

silhouette of woman reaching the moon

MoonDay: a day of Healing

Health is Wealth
Playlist as I write

10/4/21 Blog Post 2

This week I’d like to focus on my communication, my voice, being mindful and reflective when communicating with others and with myself. This past week I felt conflicted in this area of my life, so naturally I chose to meditate on it this week. Within this meditation I’ve been reflecting on the ways I have chosen to communicate in the past; what makes me speak out of spirit or character. These are the the aspects of myself I feel are in need of some healing at the moment. I have been in this new practice of self expression. What a joy it has been so far. I feel freedom like never before. Even sitting here typing this, music in my ears, I am in joy. I spent a long time not expressing myself in the most loving ways. I use to find it difficult when trying to make sense of the way my expression and ways of communicating were captured by others.

So far today I have taken my time, I wanted to begin writing within this space on a regular basis and today marks the day that I begin that habit intentionally. It isn’t a particularly sunny day today, some may say it is gloomy. But I am shining on the inside so it feels like a beautiful to me, none the less.

I use the word MoonDay instead of Monday because Mondays are the day of the Moon and a great day for healing activity/practices/energy. I also really adore the Moon so it has been nice to incorporate into my vocabulary the more that I learn about it. This week is also the New Moon in Libra on 10-6-21. A beautiful day of the start of a new lunar cycle. Learning more about astrology and the earth have brought much meaning to my life in the past two years. There is a lot to be learned from nature, I am grateful for this.

Things that are healing to me

  • Music (playlist at top is current favorite band)
  • Creating freely without restriction or deadlines, so for today that means writing on my blog and reading my journals and poetry
  • Playing my drums and getting more familiar with the creation of sound, sound is so healing
  • Sitting in silence, meditation
  • Yoga, stretching
  • Sleeping, resting fully and without distraction
  • Taking time to reflect on anything that has felt bothersome to me in the previous week/in general