The pleasant confusion that comes with being young and unsure is what colors Brooklyn, NY singer-songwriter Annie Blackman’s debut album, All of It. Born and raised in Montclair, New Jersey, Blackman spent her college years in the flatlands of central Ohio, at Kenyon College. The music takes cues from each of these psychic zones. She wrote “Power” on a twin XL in her freshman dorm, and “Glitch” less than two weeks after unpacking her first apartment in New York, five years later; “Pickets” and “Glass House” were the result of an isolated pandemic summer at her parents’ place in New Jersey. In these songs, characters stumble through panic attacks and casual hook-ups, suburban train rides and virtual doctor’s appointments. The drama unfolds in miniature, but Blackman raises the emotional stakes with sunset chord progressions and a tender sound.
You know these feelings, even if you don’t know these stories – Blackman speaks to universal commitments. Her wholehearted approach is the source of the music’s power—an expression of empathy and gratitude for the journey, but also a raw look at frustration: the kinds of inevitable sadnesses that accompany change.
Dupree got his musical start in Austin, Texas, and his voice still has some Heartworn Highways-era color to it. In the mid 00s, he founded the Trapdoor Band, an improvisatory folk group and vehicle for his lyric-driven songwriting, before switching to the Idyl moniker in 2009.
Dupree moved to California to focus on poetry, studying and teaching at UC Irvine, with songwriting never far from his mind. Despite a deep love for country music, Dupree’s songs never quite settled in that category, absorbing additional influences from the likes of Laurie Anderson, Arthur Russell, Bjork, and John Cale.
The story of Thieves is the story of starting over. It’s a sturdy songwriter’s album with heady, heavy folk and country flourishes. It’s about coming to terms with the uncanny patterns of your life, the strange repetitions you can’t escape.
S. Raekwon, born Steven Raekwon Reynolds, is a producer/vocalist/multi-instrumentalist from New York City by way of Buffalo, NY. The S. Raekwon project finds Reynolds documenting traces of a life both affected and infatuated by the power of difference. Some differences define us, some memories bear too painful to share, but S. Raekwon symbolizes a surrender to the power of one’s
Where I’m at Now, his debut for Father/Daughter, is the product of two years of S. Raekwon tuning himself to the echoes surrounding his essence, past and present. This is a collection of moments from the purview of a late bloomer, pushing himself past the isolation that serves him to create, yet keeps him defensive when facing the world. It’s an album of love in all its forms: innocent, vulnerable, gentle, questionable. This music serves as a gentle, yet intentional reminder that we only need to be who we are in the moment, and we’re worth becoming who we know we can be.
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