For many bands, four and a half years is nearly an eternity between albums, and a band who isn’t careful can come back to find that the world has moved on. The xx finally released I See You, their follow-up to 2012’s Coexist, early this year, and fortunately came back to find the fans still waiting with anticipation. Part of that may have come down to the success of producer Jamie Smith (aka Jamie xx)’s solo debut In Colour which, with its 2015 release, served as a stopgap for fans anxiously awaiting new music from the London trio. It also doubtlessly helped that I See You is by far the band’s strongest effort yet, showing a greater variety in songcraft, stronger vocals from singer and bassist Oliver Sim, and a more approachable sound which sheds some of the more distancing elements of the band’s earlier work while still maintaining its edge. Their tour for the album saw them return to Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD, where the band took to the stage on a rainy evening last Saturday.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one...Three sad boi’s and Olivia Pope walk into a bar…
THAT was the the scene last Wednesday night at the 9:30 Club when Sampha returned to play his second sold out show in the space of a few months in the nation’s capital. On his latest LP, Process, the British singer/producer deftly mixes old soul with a cold, machine elegance that demands a certain level of sophistication to go with your feels. On stage the multitudes of subtle urbanities served as both an asset and a hindrance to this rising star.
Sampha Sisay has spent the bulk of his career on the sidelines, singing and producing for the likes of Drake, Kanye West, Solange, and many more. On Process, his first full-length, the multi-talented soul phenom is finally stepping fully into the spotlight, and the results are stunning. Marcus Dowling (Decades, Pitchfork) and Marcus Moore (Bandcamp) join Kevin this week to work through their multitude of feels.
PLUS! Everybody needs more jazz in their life, and we've got a taste of pianist Noah Haidu's upcoming LP Infinite Distances for you to get cultured to.