COVID-19 has shown humans how fragile our “normal” is…it also showed exactly how much it respects our idea of “normal”. One thing it hasn’t destroyed though is our need for new music. That’s what we do here at Hank’s Luncheonette. We dig in the virtual crates of the internet and we give you that good shit. It comes in all shapes and sizes and in all forms and fashions.
Music is better than it has ever been. That may be a controversial statement to some, there is such a deep history and loyalty to different generations and era’s of music, but regardless, there is just simply too much music to ever slow progress. It doesn’t cost a fortune to record and release an album any longer. Grammy’s are created in bedrooms, classics are composed on laptops, and we are all the better for it.
The connectivity of technology and the internet is being shown with the current pandemic through the ways that musicians, Dj’s, rappers, and just about everyone else is attempting to reach their fans; ie live streams, podcasting, etc. Being able to explore all the corners of the world from a computer, allows us to find artists we would never be able to find if we didn’t have the tools we do now.
Here’s to reaching out.
SAN PAULO – BRASIL
1LUM3 – Nesses Dias Single
1LUM3 is a Brazilian artist that I found on instagram and have been following for the past couple of years. She released an album in 2019 titled antinomia that is a beautifully dark escape into a world digitized. She is an artist unafraid of pushing the boundaries of production and songwriting. 1LUM3, you can tell she doesn’t shy away from mixing avant garde fashion and forward thinking music to create powerful expressions. You can hear the boldness in her voice on Nesses Dias, a single off Brazilian artist MASM’s new album O Ano do Cachorro. The single features a slew of artists along with 1LUM3 and her voice that reminds me of a voice that calls on the rebels.
1LUM3’s album antinomia has a great neo-soul vibe mixed with her natural San Paulo flavor to the record that features moments of uniqueness that collect together to create a project that the listener can feel, even if they don’t understand the lyrics. There’s so much in her tone and projection and inflection in her voice that you can drift away listening to songs like meu bem, meu mal.
The video for meu bem, meu mal shows off the seductive nature of her eyes and her ability to use her physical self in her videos to really add to the texture and emotion of the video’s she has been known to shoot. She doesn’t shy away from the retro, and you can hear a love of hip hop in her spirit. The video for medusa, a single she released in 2018 is simplistic but really tells you a lot about her creative nature and proclivities. We may all be shut in our holes devoid of life due to the global disruption of COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be good to our souls and keep good music playing in our ears.
BERLIN – GERMANY
BLINDT – We Know
The big homie Shon Abram in Berlin has dropped some new shit with his group BLINDT. The single We Know is goddamn infectious. The pulsating nature of the production makes easy work for Shon (lead singer) to show off his writing and his Prince level pipes. An unparalleled performer, Shon has been working with bands and producers the world over for more than a decade and BLINDT is the latest endeavor. Their recent single comes with a live session that gives you a peak, just a small peak, into how this motherfucker can sing. One day when we can dare to look at the sun again, and the government unchains us from out of our living rooms, hopefully BLINDT will be playing a show somewhere in Berlin so that people can rejoice and dance to the feeling of freedom once more.
BLINDT dropped the visuals for another single they released back in November called Stop Fucking With Me and it’s about as Berlin as it can get. Dancing in visors, with the Pride Parade vibe, the contagious pop production, and BLINDT on a paddle boat, it’s all part of the plan. Shon’s use of theatrics and his ability as a performer shows off effortlessly in the video for Stop Fucking With Me. Let’s hope they are working on a full project during this time of forced solitude.
COPENHAGEN – DENMARK
Iceage – Lockdown Blues
Denmark, like many Nordic countries has a long history of viking ancestors, pillaging the world for women and riches. Iceage may not pillage and plunder, but they know how to write a damn good tune for a global pandemic. Their latest single Lockdown Blues is an ode to the desolation COVID-19 has wrought on our way of life. Normally I don’t get down for records that are so on the nose, but Lockdown Blues is a raucous garage rock ditty that makes me smile while I stare at the walls of my bedroom praying for freedom once more.
Iceage has been kicking over trash cans and blowing out speakers since 2011. A group of young punks that write wreckless music for a rebellious age. Their 2018 album Beyondless was a smash amongst the post punk and garage scene. Their single Pain Killer featuring Sky Ferreira was a dance and shout type of record that had kids painting up the town back when humans were allowed to do that sort of thing.
CHICAGO – USA
Rich Jones – Coffee
The illustrious Chicago artist Rich Jones has collaborated with David Ashley on the new single Coffee produced by one of my favorite art rap producer/rappers Denmark Vessey and the video released on the 17th of this month, merges retro with modern surrealism to create an adventurous visual to coincide with the smooth soulful style of Rich Jones.
Rich has always straddled the fence between r&b and hip hop. The single that Rich put out with Couple II in late 2019 speaks to the vibe of Rich Jones when it comes to the musical choices he makes. It’s blunt smoke along Lake Michigan with a smile. Rich Jones has deep roots in the Chicago scene, the B-Side to A Couple II 4 U single 2 Day Run features Show You Suck and Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, two artists from Chicago that like Rich have created a scene around themselves in many respects.
Rich Jones has grown as an artist since his days in Second City Citizens (SCC) when he was throwing underground rap shows with his friends at bars like Tonic Room on the Northside. Chicago has been a gang culture since its inception as a city, and that doesn’t change with the music scene. Artists belong to crews, some crews do shows together some don’t, Rich has been one of those artists that’s been a link bringing together different subsets within Chicago underground hip hop for years. Make sure to keep an eye on Rich Jones while he continues to woo your girl through the soundtrack he creates to your life.