This iteration is full of some truly beautiful sounds. The universe did it’s thing. This collection features: Hablot Brown, Nate Barksdale, Ian Wallace & The Whooligan, STACEY, and LOWERLIPDRIP

OPAQUE by Hablot Brown


Found this gem by searching through the neo-soul tab on Bandcamp. The cover initially caught my eye, that alone was enough to get me to listen. The first track that previewed was GO. It starts off with this somber piano, with vocal harmonies behind it. It immediately reminded me of D’Angelo, this was cemented when all of the other elements came in. That guitar, those claps, and the bassline come together to make a perfect song (to me at least.) I’m a very big neo-soul fan, so to give the same feeling that Say Yes by Floetry or Come Close by Common does mean that the song is a 10/10. This feeling goes right into the next song SOLDIER, which is this beautiful mix of these hard-hitting drums and soulful guitar chords with a tight bassline to hold it all together. The vocal contribution is fire too, with those layered harmonies that I love so much. TAKE IT ALL is a bass guitar-driven masterpiece that consists of one phrase: “Take it all, from me.” With that, some claps and some drums it’s one of the grooviest songs ever. SAID & DONE reminds me of Beauty & Essex in terms of how groovy they both are. The bassline is infectious and when the drums come in it’s impossible not to nod along. Very solid album, definitely worth a listen.

Spacedout by Nate Barksdale


Another Bandcamp discovery, this album is filled with hits. It’s something in that Chicago water that produces nothing but hits. Chicago has LLD, Blake Saint David, and now we can add Nate Barksdale to that list. Right off the bat with Twenty Four it starts off groovy as hell. Driven by a smooth bassline and drum combination, then Nate’s vocals come in and your ears shoot out glitter. Then!! Around 1:25 the bass matches how his voice is almost chopped up and once again it’s those small moments like that that only happen once but I remember the most. Then, the transition from this track to Lightyear happens and you don’t even realize it because it’s just that smooth. Higher sounds like you’re in a flying car, driving into the sunset. Complete with beautiful vocals from Nate and Melvin Knight, echoed guitar chords, and hi-hats to top it off. Actually, the song sounds like you’re staring into the eyes of the person you love and you’re getting lost in them. One for the Road is a great sendoff to an already great project. The complete switch when the hook comes in and the vocals are layered, the guitar comes in and it just feels like a warm hug. Man, this album is absolutely beautiful.

So Sweet by Ian Wallace & The Whooligan


We all love some nice disco inspired electronic music, and this track is no exception. It gives me the same feeling any track off Discovery by Daft Punk does, so that’s an automatic A+. Built off a sample of Mary J Blige’s Be Happy, Wallace and The Whooligan transform it into a 70’s club anthem. Remember when deluxe editions of albums would include club and jazz remixes of songs? Totally the same feeling that this gives and it’s great. On Bandcamp they have both versions of the track, now they’re both great, but to get the full feel you have to listen to the one with vocals. They just add another feeling to it.

Far Away by STACEY


Yet another beautiful voice found digging through bandcamp. STACEY comes through with those dream like vocals over daydream-like instrumentation that is reminiscent of Father John Misty and a blend of all of the best music from the 1960’s. Far Away deals with getting away from the problems and hardships of yesterday and going to your happy place and take a break from it all. This song is so beautiful, my ears can’t take it. STACEY’s voice over these echoed drums, mesmerizing guitar and synth pads are a match made in heaven.

Everything Is Fare by LOWERLIPDRIP


The DRIPSET is fucking back! I was waiting on this one for a minute, and it was fully worth the wait. From the first couple seconds of DON’T SHUT ME DOWN I was hooked. Those distorted vocals over those 808’s have you wondering “What is about to happen?” Then Dew and blackrobes come in and put their feet on your neck to say what they have to say, then they’re outta there. No times is wasted on this track, LLD is here to add some quality music to clear up the “white noise” we’re so used to hearing. That larger than life energy continues straight into FERERFAREFAIRFERERFAREFAIR. Over production that goes from super distorted one second to super calm in the next Dew and blackrobes rap about various things. Data-mining, their distrust/dislike for certain white people and those who want to be like them among other things. It’s wild how they fit so much into 2:50. Please pay attention to these guys, you’re gonna be pissed when you try to hop on the train too late.

Follow Deshaun Everywhere: @deshaunstar