premiere: get on a wild ride with punk rocker anita lofton’s folk/soul song “boom boom”
Over a countrified soul stomp, The Anita Lofton Project’s latest “Boom Boom” brings the party. Singer and guitarist Lofton’s throwback vibe is an anthem for summer nights and unpaved roads. She got her start in the punk band Sistas in the Pit, and she brings that same energy to her new project’s sound. Lofton may have traded in a Marshall half stack for a fiddle player, but she hasn’t lost the feel.
The song is “a wild ride,” Anita tells us, “‘Boom Boom’ is a modern day love anthem where intimacy, truth, and love are explored. Peaks, valleys, and breakdowns make you wanna hold up a mirror and ask, “What will I do for love”? Peaks, valleys, and breakdowns make you wanna hold up a mirror and ask, ‘What will I do for love?’”
Photo by Lincoln Alder
black queer woman-fronted rock band dakota jones shares bold ep
There’s a simmering intensity to Dakota Jones’ latest EP, the appropriately titled Pt. 3. Throwback blues grooves anchor tracks like “Have Mercy,” while singer Tristan Carter-Jones’ voice hints at explosion. The band has a timeless classic rock sound that revels in lean riffs and raw emotion. On the EP’s centerpiece “Beat Back Bones” Carter-Jones stretches her voice to its heights and the outcome is revelatory. It’s the kind of larger-than-life song that demands a larger-than-life stage.
Tristan Carter-Jones explains the band’s revolutionary posture, telling us “I’m a Black, queer woman expressing my thoughts and my love, and some folks still find that to be a transgressive act in and of itself. I work to fight that idea. I’m also a Black, queer woman- fronting three straight white men- in full control of our band’s message. I write a lot about my sexuality and the ways in which I express it – songs about rough sex and masturbation bounce back and forth between songs about the pain of love, good love, hangovers, self medication.”
Photo by Alexandra Johnson Photography
get an invigorating injection of freedom administered by rap-rock duo thutmose & nombe in their ep ‘run wild’
Not all joint rap albums are created equal. Nigerian-born, Brooklyn-based MC Thutmose and German-bred producer NoMBe have managed to turn an instant musical connection into an EP that showcases the strength of both while delivering an organic and enjoyable-as-hell listening experience with their EP ‘Run Wild’. The EP is a successful experiment of Hip Hop beats carried by electric and acoustic guitar riffs that form a through-line in the album that makes the body of work more than a few songs thrown together.
“About a year ago, I met one of the most talented artists I have ever had the pleasure working with. Within the first few hours of meeting Thutmose, he and I wrote our single Summer’s Gone followed by many more. It’s rare for me to find an artist that I am this comfortable writing with, so when the idea of doing an entire rap EP came up, I immediately started putting together a handful of tracks.” – NoMBe
The title track ‘Run Wild’ carries an electrifying rap-rock arrangement with a pop energy that compelled EA Sports to use the song for the trailer FIFA World Cup 2018 video game. The trailer racked up 10 million views in just four days on Facebook and Youtube alone. “I have certain songs that have been a product of my own sound that wouldn’t technically fit, but I make them I love sports and I’ll create anthems to keep myself going for motivational purposes,” Thutmose told Variety. “When the FIFA thing came about, I was like, ‘Yeah, this is one of the few instances where this would make sense. I grew up playing soccer, all my friends play FIFA, so to me it was a no-brainer – just push the button.”
From the playful SuperMario riffs in ‘Kids’ to the enchanting electric guitar in ‘Soft Top’, this EP is alive with passion-filled exploration of a triumphant musical partnership.
soul king fantastic negrito crafts an anthem to resilience on ‘please don’t be dead’
“Take that bullshit / Turn it into good shit.”
The triumphant reinvention of Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz as Fantastic Negrito is one of the very few, if not only, 3rd acts in rock. After a twice-sidelined solo career, once by the coma that gives Please Don’t Be Dead its album cover, Dphrepaulezz came roaring back in 2014 as one of rock’s most sought after live acts. With 2016’s The Last Days of Oakland, Fantastic Negrito won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album, capping off 20 years of hustle.
Please Don’t Be Dead might be Dphrepaulezz’s second album in the spotlight, but it’s hardly a sophomore effort. It’s merely his first album where he’s not the underdog. And that confidence looks good on him. The album is full of surprising left turns and experimental quirks that color in the margins of his blues, soul, and funk. Highlights like “Plastic Hamburgers,” “The Duffler,” and “Bullshit Anthem” deliver the kind of uptempo anthems fans have come to expect, mixing the personal with the political and an almost religious passion. But most surprisingly, it’s Please Don’t Be Dead‘s ballads that shine brightest.
Dphrepaulezz explained the title is in reference to his son, and living in fear that he could be end up yet another casualty in America’s war on black youth. And the struggle against that fear is present in “A Letter to Fear” which insists “whatever you do to me / I will carry on.” “A Cold November Street” and “Dark Windows,” meanwhile boast the album’s best songwriting. “Dark Windows,” in particular strips away the bluster and defiant party vibe of the rest of the album to wrestle with the dangerous world we find ourselves in.
“I wrote this album because I fear for the life of my black son. I fear for the lives of my daughters. I am uncertain about what kind of future they will face. Will someone shoot up their school? Will they become addicted to prescription pills? Will they wind up on the street, sleeping under freeways and overpasses? Will the police murder my son? I came up with the name Please Don’t Be Dead because I felt like we’d lost of our way as a society – and I know what happens when you chase the wrong things. It’s the story of my life.” – Fantastic Negrito
The album closes with the plea to “Never Give Up” before launching into the funk hook of “Bullshit Anthem.” As the daily news of 2018 turns in one new horror after the next, we all need a reminder to take that bullshit and turn it into that good shit. But there may be no-one earth who can deliver a line like “I get knocked down / But I keep on fighting” with the sincerity and wisdom of experience as Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz. Please Don’t Be Dead is a monument to resilience built on the ashes of missed opportunities and fear.
feel the bone shattering explosion of punk/hip-hop band samurai shotgun’s “the blast”
“We are many
There is no beating us”
Since their bone shattering appearance at the 2015 AFROPUNK Battle of the Bands in Atlanta, we’ve been all about Samurai Shotgun. The hip-hop / punk outfit’s last record Riptide took the explosive energy of their live show and bottled it. Their latest single “The Blast,” uncorks it and lets it do some damage. Featuring fiery vocals from Matteo, and some of Quey’s best turntable work to date, it’s the perfect encapsulation of what Samurai Shotgun is all about.
Samurai Shotgun call “The Blast” the first of many new singles and videos they’ll be dropping this year. Check them out at http://www.samuraishotgun.com/
premiere: get on your ‘rock star shit’ with the help of rocker duo sabatta’s latest visual
‘Rock Star Shit’ is the latest music video for rocker darlings Sabatta and it blows the roof down. Inspired by the need to destroy cliches surrounding what it means to be a rock star and lead the rocker lifestyle, as black punks Sabatta already stands on the fringes of a genre that’s technically ours. Shot in a D.I.Y. space near South East London, the raw grungy and grimy aesthetic is the perfect accompaniment to letting everyone know their brand of rock star shit ain’t for the faint-hearted.
“‘Rock Star Shit’ is about breaking down the cliches associated with the rock star lifestyle and the mythology that’s grown up around it,” vocalist and guitarist Yinka Oyewole tells AFROPUNK. “The public loves living vicariously through ‘stars’, seeing them crash and burn, but for most musicians, the reality of trying to survive is far different. Even if you make it there’s a price to pay. The idea came to me when I was having a ‘debate’ with a promoter (who we’re cool with BTW) about our slot on an all dayer and there was some discrepancy over the stage times. He said to me “Oh, that’s that Rock Star Shit!” like we were demanding a massive entourage or to only be served yellow M&Ms.”
Photo by Eric Mouroux
Photo by Eric Mouroux
premiere: alt rock trailblazer michael jablonka’s “flump” is a sugary rush
Like candy it takes its name from, London rocker Michael Jablonka’s latest single “Flump” is sugary and chewy, twisting and vibrant. “For some reason the riff reminded me of the marshmallow sweet,” Jablonka tells AFROPUNK on the stripped down dirty riff that anchors the song. It’s alt rock at its most essential, layered with a confectionery hook and a driving beat. The song is at once sludgy and sweet, and like any good candy leaves you wanting more.
Catch Michael Jablonka May 19th at the Great Escape Festival at the Queen’s Hotel in Brighton.
Photo by Latoyah Gill
pop-rocker arrow benjamin tackles and tames the modern love song in latest track ‘love vendetta’
“I’m running in a battle that I know I won’t win”
Love songs are essential.
Traveling through generations, countries, continents, every one has a song to reach hearts, and speak from theirs. NO cliché is outplayed when it comes to love (lmao), and when it comes to Arrow Benjamin and his new track ‘Love Vendetta’- he makes lyrical romance fresh-taking an old form and making it new.
With an ethereal, echoey intro met midway by soulfully rustic vocals- the London-based creative lulls listeners into his world, gifting them a soothed state of being , and speaking to the many variations of a mind in love.
‘Love Vendetta’ is a track for anyone persistent on lasting in love, and dealing with the “emotional chains” attached to any relationship.
This AFROPUNK has tackled and tamed the love song, and we’re here for it. Check out Arrow Benjamin’s latest track ‘Love Vendetta’ below!
rock out to psych garage band blac rabbit’s self-titled ep, it’s the uplift you need right now
Blac Rabbit’s self-titled EP was destined to be a soundtrack to summer. From the irresistible energy of the lead track “All Good,” to the hooks of “Over the Rainbow,” this is an album that instantly transports you to a chill afternoon with fuck-all to do. The best moments come when the garage band opens up and lets their psychedelic tendencies loose. “Mindspace” stretches 2 chords over 5 minutes creating ripples of ambiance to dive into, while closer “I Don’t Mind If You’re Around,” finds the band marrying the best of their instincts; breezy hooks on top of waves of chill. This is the uplift we’ve all been waiting for.
intersectional soul-rockers the coolots face their demons in gritty video for ‘doors’
The first video from Washington DC rockers The Coolots’ album ‘Rebirth’ is out.
I the visuals for ‘Doors’, five friends face their demons: “The Coolots make a calculated decision to film in an abandoned neighborhood, symbolic of the sense of dystopia we may feel when approaching matters of our mental health.”
Check it out: