During a recent DJ set at The Porch, someone stepped up to the booth. This is nothing new, and normally, it’s the signal that someone is about to ask for (or, more often than not, obnoxiously try to force) a request. Luckily though, he just said what’s up and told me he was enjoying the mix. I thanked him and went back to focusing on my mix, as DJ’ng requires much more concentration than the average observer realizes, but he kept going with the conversation attempt. Normally I would feign interest or cut things off so I don’t run into a bad conversation situation, but I let it ride that time, and this is how I met Donja and learned about his music. The catalog was prolific, and much like MAIKÉRU, who I also recently met, Donja sounded seasoned, and he was doing genre-blending music that purposefully stood out from the norm in terms of both quality and approach. His latest single, the super catchy Phone Home, serves as a continuation of the vibe that I was picking up when checking out Donja‘s back catalog, and if you’re unfamiliar with him like I once was, then the single serves as a perfect introductory point. Check out the track on your favorite streaming service, and find Donja on your favorite social media site to stay in the release loop!
If my blog had a common theme, it would likely be ‘talented peers’, as I often find myself amazed at how many truly gifted individuals I can consider friends and acquaintances. Case in point, my friend Kayleigh : she is a talented singer and musician who has been part of a number of bands and collectives in the central Texas area, and recently, she took a moment out of her day to film a quick performance of Mac DeMarco‘s Chamber of Reflection. With just her voice and her guitar work, she is able to create a moving and chilling experience, so if you find yourself curious, take a moment to watch, like and comment if it moves you to do so, and share it around for all to see.
Getting to know the new homie Maikéru has been one of the true highlights of 2021. I’ve met a lot of creative people in the central Texas area, but there’s something about Maikéru‘s poise and polish that makes it feel like he’s doing what he was truly born to do. Recently, SYN SESSIONS showcased Maikéru singing YIPPEEKIYAY with acoustic accompaniment by Eric G of Kid Brothers, and while seeing Maikéru with full production is on some other ish, seeing this performance in such an intimate and stripped down presentation is equally powerful. Take a few minutes to dig it, and if it moves you, hit the like button, leave a comment, and share it with someone you care about.
In the short time that I’ve known Maikéru, I’ve been most impressed by the composure and thought that goes behind his releases. The run of impressive work continues with PASTEL – EP, a collection of varied tracks meant to get everyone in the mood for the first summer post-COVID-19. From the upbeat braggadocio of PHOTOSHOOT to the somber vulnerability of POOLSIDEBLUES, the range that Maikéru is able to provide in such a short amount of time is inspiring. As a bonus, we even get a streamlined version of LEGENDSONLY, one of the signature songs in the Maikéru catalog. Definitely don’t sleep on this one.
A lot of us had momentum going in different areas prior to the sudden and shocking pandemic-based shutdown caused by COVID-19, and one of my favorite examples of this was poolboi blu‘s instantly classic mix series s i n c e r e R A D I O. You’d think that with the world shutdown, the series would continue (if not gain traction), but instead, poolboi blu seemingly turned his DJ focus towards Twitch streams in order to hold (and grow) his audience. Now that some version of normalcy seems to be making its way slowly into our collective lives, it makes since that poolboi blu would lace us with sincere (volume 015), an instrumental-heavy affair that showcases his growth as a DJ. Here’s a quick tracklist :
You already know the drill… check it out, leave likes and comments, and spread the mix around for everyone to enjoy.
As the United States, not to mention the world at large, emerges from the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear we have all been impacted, but it is unclear in what ways this impact will manifest itself. The homie Attic Ted is one of the first local artists to explore and address this directly with his upcoming project The Pandemic Single, a two-song exploration from his perspective. For those that missed it, one of the songs already has a music video out :
The songs are available to stream currently on the Attic TedBancamp page, and on August 1st, a run of 1,000 12″ records will be available courtesy of a recent audience investment campaign. Regardless of whether you’re a die-hard Attic Ted fan and supporter, or you simply dig the Lance McMahan artwork on the front of the project, this is one that collectors shouldn’t sleep on.
Marshall Anderson just hit us with another beautiful tune, and this time around, he tapped Jeffrey Garcia‘s creative energy to create a memorable and era-blurring video. Mermaids, when taken on its own, is a dynamic song with layered guitars, a shuffling but catchy drum performance and a ton of subtle harmony, all courtesy of Marshall Anderson and company, so in order to match the timeless feeling of the song, Jeffrey Garcia went with a VHS-based video, resulting in a look that is unique to current aesthetics, but definitely reminiscent of a few generations passed. Definitely take some time to check this one out, leave a like and a comment if you feel it, and share it around so everyone can enjoy!
Life tends to get a bit hectic here in the information age, and sometimes, it’s nice to be reminded that it’s ok to take it a little easy every now and then. If this sentiment ever needed an anthem, then my candidate would be Marshall Anderson, as Sunflowers Leaning, his latest single, embodies these feelings perfectly. Over a sparse guitar and drum driven track with just the right touches of piano, Marshall tells us all about himself, his past, where he’s headed, and most importantly, he shares his view of the world with all that are willing to listen. If you dig songs that can shift your mood for the better, then check out this video, leave a like and a comment, and share it around for everyone to enjoy!
One of the many pleasures that comes with setting up my hideout in the San Marcos, Texas area is the wealth of talented singer/songwriters that also have chosen to take up residence. Over the years, I’ve run across a number of them that have truly blown me away with their talent, and one of the more recent personalities to step out of the pack is Cecil James. I knew he was a solid guitarist (this coming from a completely inept guitarist) and a singer with a richness to his voice similar to that of M. Ward, but with a bit more playful storyteller, but up until recently, I had no idea what he would sound like in the framing of a recorded project. These curiosities were laid to rest with the recent release of Las Canciones del Borracho, a 3-song EP that plays out like a movie story arc that lies somewhere between David Lynch and the Cohen Brothers. He’s always sounded great acoustically, but hearing him with a strong backing band and focused production not only brings out the sonic griot in his lyrics, but it subtextually comments on his ruminations about being an isolated soul in search of close company full of kindred spirits. In my humble opinion, that should be relatively easy to find around San Marcos, especially with a calling card like Las Canciones del Borracho in your back pocket.
After testing the waters a month or so ago with the release of the stranger single, Jack Henry is back at it with a wonderfully strange music video. Directed by Izzy Gazette, the video is a fun romp through visual silliness, a stark contrast against the very solid sound Henry has created for his era-shifting single. That being said, the video itself is a fun one, and certainly worth checking out, so give it a view, leave a like and a comment if you dig it, and share it around so that Jack Henry can become a household name.