Sunday, May 1, 2016

Globetrotting Mumford & more new music added

The new music we've added to our Marvelous Mix this week includes a bit of a surprise release from Mumford & Sons.

While touring in South Africa, the British folk-rockers linked up with vocalist Baaba Maal from Senegal; The Very Best, fronted by Malawi singer Esau Mwamwaya; and Cape Town pop group Beatenberg. Over two days, they recorded several tracks that will be released as an EP next month.

We're spinning the first release, "There Will Be Time," which features Baaba Maal. It's a track that you have to let work on you: From a slow start it builds to a powerful, rocking piece. To Western ears not often exposed to African music, it will of course bring to mind the work that Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel have done with African musicians. Give it your attention and you will be rewarded.

That's just one example of the wide range of styles in our New Music bin (you know how we like variety).

Marian Hill is a Philadelphia-based group that creates a distinct jazzy-pop sound, fronted by Samantha Gongol's breathy vocals. Their first album came out early in 2015, and later in the year the single "One Time" broke out as an alternative-radio hit. From their upcoming second album, Act One, we've added "I Want You."

From Roc City (Rochester, N.Y.) by way of Brooklyn comes Maybird, a quintet that formed a few years ago around brothers Josh (vocals, guitar) and Adam Netsky (drums). It's one of many bands these days whose musical style is hard to categorize. A blurb on Sonicbids calls it "twangy psychedelia with a funhouse bounce" and "blissful space-rock with a playful sense of pop songwriting." Whatever. Decide for yourself when you hear us play the single "Turning Into Water," the title track from their debut EP.

Sara Hartman also joins our Marvelous Mix this week with "Satellite," the title song from her debut EP. This singer-songwriter hails from Sag Harbor, N.Y. (one of our favorite places in the world!) but relocated to Berlin to work with a producer and that seems to have jump-started her career. Right now she's in the States for tour dates in May, opening for X Ambassadors. Then it's back to Europe for a tour of her own.

Los Angeles band Local Natives is said to be working on a third album after a quiet few years. The first single is "Past Lives." They have an expansive sound blending acoustic and electronic instrumentation with vocal harmony.

We'd like to get your comments on the new music - and all the music - we play on Birch Street Radio. Comment on this page, e-mail us, or reach us on Facebook or @BirchStRadio on Twitter.

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