the best of bandcamp day august 7, 2020

August 7, 2020
117 Picks

“Better late than never,” I guess? A pandemic does not mean a break from the grind and in the case of us beleaguered media people, it can mean working harder than ever to achieve more than ever before—all while the world burns.

For me, one thing that’s worth an overdue, after-hours post is supporting and amplifying independent artists. So, with just a few hours left in the now regularly recurring Bandcamp Day, we’re giving you last minute Bandcamp shoppers our recommendations of the best new (and not-so-new releases) from some of our favorite old and new indie artists in dance music, punk, metal, underground hip-hop, and genre non-conforming music. See a few of the many things we think are worth dollar today or anytime really. –timmhotep aku

Pauli The PSM x JWW, “BGM” feat. Minderella

“Rescue the World, Protect Black Women.” The directive in the title of DJ/producer Pauli The PSM and photog/visual artist John William Washington’s collaborative project is simple but profound. Known for bringing the cutting edge sounds and style of London to New York City with the Back To Life party he co-founded, Pauli the PSM is already a cultural ambassador for the dance music scene. With his upcoming music and merch collab with JWW Pauli is’s infusing his music with an important message for a great cause. The first single from the EP, “BGM” features Back To Life party co-founder, host, and resident micstress, Minderella, effortlessly riding the beat of dance track to extoll the virtues of Black Girl Magic. At just two minutes the track is short, sweet, and lends itself to repeat plays. All net proceeds from the sale of the song, the upcoming EP (available for pre-order before its 8/21 release date), and the hat go to the #SayHerName campaign at African American Policy Forum. — timmhotep aku

Screaming Toenail, Growth

Screaming Toenail dedicates their latest to “anyone resisting colonial heterosexual bullshit” and this jagged-edge burst of punk rock, noise, and whatever else they feel like throwing in the mix is giving us the energy we need right now. –Nathan Leigh

Duval Timothy, Help

London’s Duval Timothy is a multidisciplinary artist for whom music is just one mode of expression. His approach is as emotive as it is heady and on his latest release, Help, we get the fullest breadth of his musical expression thus far. The project is a meditation on mental health, self-help, and identity apropos of 2020. Songs such as “Like” feat. Vegyn with its cascading synths and glitched-out vocal samples will make your head nod while songs like “Slave”, featuring Twin Shadow, tug at heartstrings. This is an album to immerse yourself in, not just listen to. — timmhotep aku

Old City, “Pipebomb

On their latest offering together, Old City and Tre Marsh flip a sample of Dead Kennedy’s “Police Truck” into a biting invective against the police state. With a satirical edge that would make even Biafra jealous, “Pipebomb” finds Marsh channeling a corrupt cop boasting of his fuckery. –Nathan Leigh

Amani Fela X King Vision Ultra, An Unknown Infinite

This is the type of left-field, punk-inflected, hardcore hip hop shit I love. With a sound that’s more toward gritty than pretty, Amani Fela handles the lyrics while Purple Tape Pedigree producer King Vision Ultra handles the bulk of the soundscapes. As you’ll see in the video for “A Not So Fruitful Wealth“, this is a stark surreal take on NYC rap that feels more urgent than anything you might hear on Hot 97. –timmhotep aku

Anjimile, “Giver Taker”

Building from a delicate finger-picked guitar to an unexpectedly climactic conclusion, Anjimile’s irresistible single makes the anticipation for the forthcoming Giver Taker almost unbearable. “Have you ever known anything quite like this?” they ask as the song rises to its stunning coda. No, and we can’t wait to hear the rest. –Nathan Leigh

Anahata,  “Suffer

The NYC post-hardcore band’s recent run of singles is one for the ages. Their personal lyrics, massive anthemic vocals, and thundering breakdowns on “Suffer” showcase why Anahata is one of the most vital bands rising in the scene. –Nathan Leigh

BIYDIY, The Shape of Dance To Come

Beyond having what might be the most inspirational label name ever, Believe In Yourself Do It Yourself Records is consistently dropping compelling projects and their latest comp just might be one of my favorite releases of theirs yet. Label founders and artists American Matthew and Stonie Blue serve up four tracks filled with shimmering electric piano, dancing hi-hats, and sumptuous grooves. This summer might be a wash but tracks like “Saturday” will help you fondly remember summer nights spent in dance clubs sweating your cares away. –timmhotep aku

Blvck Hippie, “Bunkbed”

We can’t get enough of the single from Nashville indie-rock outfit Blvck Hippie. “Bunkbed” is the perfect mix of raw, heartfelt, and driven for when the world is too much to handle. –Nathan Leigh

dj mOma, mOmaPiano

So the story goes: World-class Sudanese-American DJ and co-founder of Everyday Peoples, dj mOma finds himself stuck in Joburg for the first four months of the COVID-19 quarantine. Known for bridging musical gaps across seas and across the African continent itself, dj mOma tries his hand at putting his spin on the South African dance music he’s fallen in love with, Amapiano. The result is an album full of bright and lively bops like “Abeg Abeg” which brings in Jodeci’s R&B harmonies for soulful effect. This is silver-lining music. –timmhotep aku