Wednesday 21 July 2021

New music round-up ::: July 2021 (vol.2)

'Gonna Get Love' by Randa and The Soul Kingdom

It's incredible to think that Randa and The Soul Kingdom's debut, self-titled album was released as far back as 2009.  Still sounding as fresh and innovative now as it did upon first release, Randa Khamis led the charge with a personality-driven, powerhouse vocal.  Backed by an all-star cast whose initial iteration featured Lance Ferguson (Menagerie, The Bamboos) on guitar and Ivan Khatchoyan (Cookin on 3 Burners, The Traffic) on drums, Randa and The Soul Kingdom went on to steal hearts of funk & soul fans the world over through dare-you-to-sit-still tracks like 'Feel It In Your Soul', 'Not Gonna Let You' and 'Lysistrata's Quest'.   With two albums released through the revered Freestyle Records, this year marks the tenth year since the band's last album release and excitingly offers a thrilling reinvention of their sound.  Heavier guitars, bolder production and a typically awesome Randa vocal plunge 'Gonna Get Love' somewhere within the realms of classic rhythm'n'blues and 60s psychedlic soul.  With this single the precursor to album #3, 'Gonna Get Love' whets the appetite for exciting new directions for Randa and The Soul Kingdom and we couldn't be more excited to be along for the adventure.

'Deeper in Love' by Nick Corbin

It's still surprising to consider that last year's 'Sweet Escape' album was actually Nick Corbin's debut solo release.  With so many years under his belt as the singer and songwriter for New Street Adventure, whose debut record was released through Acid Jazz in 2014, Corbin's indelible touch has further graced projects from Lack of Afro and Emma Noble before ultimately pouring his passions into the burgeoning roster of Big AC records.  We've previously marvelled at the efforts of Big AC - the label Corbin founded alongside DJ Sophie Heath - and the brilliant singles from vocalist Carmy Love whose  'Thinkin About You' single from earlier this year benefitted from the penmanship of Corbin himself.  While at home as part of a team that nurtures inspired new UK talent, Corbin finds himself equally adept centre-stage as perfectly exemplified in his current 'Deeper in Love' single.  A scintillatingly sweet slice of summer soul, Corbin's great vocal is displayed alongside wonderful production perfectly capturing the inescapable sound of 60s soul.  

'Shades of Blue' by The Soul Sound Collective

There's something undeniable about the Soul Sound Collective's ability to make music for the summertime.  Maybe it's those twinges of 70s soul and Roy Ayers that seem to permeate so many of their compositions... whatever it is, it's a winning formula we hope the collective never lose sight of.  From the band's instrumental, Sade-ish vibes of debut single 'Stay A While' (released as far back as November 2018) to their work with a variety of different vocalists across a range of singles and EPs, last year's more eclectic 'Experimental Journey' EP to current single 'Shades of Blue' - the evolution of their sound is exciting to see as these subtle shifts in direction show a band continually looking to learn and encapsulate new energy and new sounds.  Featuring long-standing Soul Sound Collective members Tim Higgins on bass, Simon Lee on guitar and Craig Sims on everything else - including a notably excellent vocal that Sims is unveiling for the first time - 'Shades of Blue' may genuinely rank amongst one of the group's best ever releases which is really saying something when considering the scope of fantastic music credited to their name.

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