Ozomatli - Sisters - Annie Hart - Taliwhoah

Ozomatli - Come and Get Your Love + Solamente Una Vez (feat. Gaby Moreno).

Background - Ozomatli is giving classic and iconic Latin songs a reggae twist on their current album 'Nonstop: Mexico → Jamaica'. Since its inception in 1995, innovation and creativity have defined Ozomatli. Hailing from Los Angeles, the group found a way to represent the city's eclectic culture through music that appeals to the local community and the world beyond. Ozomatli's success is exemplified in an impressive variety of genres, from classic to modern Latino, urban, hip-hop and other world styles. The "Dioses del Baile," or "Gods of Dance," have created one of the most exciting, captivating and flat-out fun live shows touring today. They continue to harness their musical instincts by conceiving new concepts and forging new sounds that keep fans on their toes and the world dancing.

Ozomatli's latest recording -'Nonstop: Mexico → Jamaica' - is an album of classic and contemporary Mexican hits re-imagined with a Jamaican feel. Teaming up with other Latin superstars like Gaby Moreno (courtesy of Metamorfosis Enterprises), Juanes and Régulo Caro for the new versions of these "oldies but goodies," the album pays tribute to music and artists Ozomatli members grew up listening to, inspiring them to reconnect and reinterpret songs that defined their youth.

Produced by drum & bass reggae legends, Sly & Robbie ( whose production credits include Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, Madonna, No Doubt) and featuring various high profile guest vocalists, the album reflects the bands multi-genre influences as well as their travels around the world. Website here.

I could not decide which song to feature as they contrast with each other, showing two musical sides to Ozomatli. So here are both 'Come and Get Your Love' and 'Solamente Una Vez', two fabulous songs that deliver both gorgeous Latin vibes and majestic reggae, alongside some fabulous musicianship & vocals.


Sisters - Heart Beats.

Background - Sisters have announced their upcoming album Wait Don't Wait and share the first single "Heart Beats". Wait Don’t Wait is the band’s second full-length album to be slated for release in this dark and disorienting year of 2017 – and their first release via Tender Loving Empire. Their debut LP, Drink Champagne (self-released Valentine’s Day 2017) was met with a confluence of, “How were you able to release such a happy record right now?” and, “Thank you so much for releasing such a happy record right now!”; sentiments that are only amplified, strengthened and refined on Wait Don’t Wait. Joy as an act of revolutionary defiance in the face of oppression is the name of their game, and it sounds too damn good to ignore.

March of 2017 in a cabin nestled outside of Clinton, Washington; Whidbey Island: Equipped with an iPhone for recording, a drum kit and a few synthesizers and guitars, Westman and Vait hole up for a week. Each day, they improvise from dawn until dusk as the cornerstones of songs emerge. Each thread is built upon – developed with care, knowledge, and – most obviously – the joy of discovery. Lyrics are free-styled and penned over a core skeletal structure until the spirit of a song emerges and is recorded to the iPhone. As their time on the island draws to a close, the duo sits atop a quorum of tunes – enough to fill a record.

October 13th 2017; Everywhere, Planet Earth: With the release ofWait Don’t Wait, Sisters are not only presenting another pop record full of bangers that demands repeat listens – their second this year – they are also methodically working toward creating a world that is safe for everyone. The thing called hatred; the thing called violence; the things that threaten life and love cannot survive in the face of true joy. Sisters deliver unrestrained joy, and it is desperately needed right now. The world has been waiting, but it needs wait no more. Website here, Facebook here.

There is a funky fresh rhythm on 'Heart Beats' and some vocals & harmonies that add even more of a soulful feel to this refreshing song.


Annie Hart - Hard To Be Still.

Background - Annie Hart is best known as one-third of Au Revoir Simone, the beloved all-female synth trio that counts David Lynch as a superfan (& also recently appeared on Twin Peaks). But with the eight tracks on her solo debut, Impossible Accomplice (Instant Records, Sept. 15), Annie will emerge as an electrifying artist and producer in her own right. 

During the band's hiatus, she has been crafting pop songs on classic synthesizers, with a less-is-more approach, writing and engineering the record on her own in the basement of her Brooklyn home, sneaking sessions in while her children were sleeping.  Greatly influenced by the spare synthesizer sounds of Laurie Spiegel and the post-punk sensibility of artists like Alex Cameron, Annie has embraced her love of meticulously crafting the perfect tone to match the emotion of a song. "Be it melancholy, longing, happiness or simple desire, there is no better way to explain my innermost world than by going past words and into the intuitive and visceral feeling that a particular sound can evoke.”

In songs such as the first single, "Hard To Be Still" (featured on an episode of Netflix series, Gypsy, starring Naomi Watts), Annie cuts back the layers to reveal a rawer version of the dreamy synth pop her band was famous for forging. Solo, Annie has opened for artists such as M. Ward and Neko Case, and will be playing a handful of shows this summer in support of the new record. Website here, Facebook here.

We featured 'I Don't Want Your Love' from Annie Hart just a couple of weeks back & now we can share the new video for 'Hard To Be Still'. This is more of a rocker with a beautifully produced soundtrack and another delightful helping of dreamy vocals.


Taliwhoah - Details.

Background - A stylish pop outlier with Afro-Caribbean soul, R&B swagger, London-born and Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter and artist Taliwhoah immediately elicits a reaction any time she sings. That typical response can be found in her very moniker…

Born in a big artistic family to a British born, Nigerian-Lebanese mom and Jamaican dad, Talitha Cross had a very roundabout introduction to music. Both her mom Toyin Adekale and auntie Maizie Williams were in the influential band Boney M, who according to many including the Independent helped define the late disco-pop 1970s era. Therefore Tali since she was little would spend hours watching and studying their VHS tapes and learning from the very best.

After relocating to LA, Tali experienced a very testing time during which her desire for song writing was born. Left homeless due to difficult circumstances, she slept in Union Station many times, scared, alone and writing songs as a survival tactic.

Fast-forward a few years and now Taliwhoah is signed to the uber cool Rostrum Records and has just released her latest single ‘Details’.

‘Details’ is a down-tempo piece of dusky R&B, dancehall and electronica. Talitha’s voice takes flight over a skittering synth, entrancing at every turn. “I was thinking about tattoos as an analogy for life,” Tali adds. “The biggest risks you take define you. Those little details we’re left with are what matter the most. It’s a moment of reflection for me.” Facebook here.

I have to say the clever synth driven musical arrangement on 'Details' is rich, deep and creative making for a beautiful contrast with Taliwhoah's lush, soulful vocals. Keeping the overall song a little understated enables everything to shine through!