Our New Music For January!

Posted by: yetheart, January 24, 2017 6:27 pm
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Solange, A Seat at the Table

Looking for new music? Look no further than your local Queens Library!

Every month, our expert staff will bring you the best of what's new in our physical and digital collections.

Check out our music recommendations for January 2017!

Solange, A Seat at the Table
Beyoncé’s younger sister Solange has often been overshadowed by her more famous sibling. However, Solange found her own voice after a stint with Destiny’s Child and now stands apart. Her sound is deeply rooted in Motown and Dusty Springfield is her greatest inspiration. If that sounds a bit too retro, don’t worry, the songs she puts out are contemporary R&B and neo-soul as current as the latest iPhone. She may not have Beyoncé’s vocal range, but her sound is more seductive. Best of all, her latest album, A Seat at the Table, went to number one when it was released, meaning that both sisters achieved that honor in 2016. You can stream the entire album on Freegal.

Margo Price, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter
Margo Price is a country music singer-songwriter from Illinois, but currently a resident of Nashville. Her influences include Emmylou Harris, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly Parton. She sometimes works with Sturgill Simpson as part of the group Margo & the Pricetags, but her new album is her solo debut. She’s made a lot of “emerging artists to watch” lists and was recently featured on Anthony Bourdain’s CNN show Parts Unknown when he visited Nashville. Check out her video for “Hands of Time."

Garth Brooks, Gunslinger
Garth Brooks was a country music superstar in the 1990s. Even people who didn’t normally care for country music seemed to hop on the bandwagon. For most of the decade, he was a top-selling artist who, it appeared, could do no wrong. However, the pressures of fame and fortune had a negative effect on Garth and he retired from showbiz in 2001. After his youngest daughter graduated high school, Garth returned to the stage in 2009 for a Las Vegas residency. Buoyed by his success in Vegas, he went back to the recording studio in 2014. Gunslinger is his second album since coming out of retirement. You may also know him as a judge on The Voice! Here he is on The View.

Esperanza Spalding, Emily’s D+Evolution
Esperanza Emily Spalding is a musical prodigy from Portland, OR. She is best known for being a jazz bassist and singe,  but she is proficient with many instruments and styles. Her influences range from Ornette Coleman to Madonna and she sings in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. She was the first jazz musician to win the Grammy for Best New Artist in 2011, and her upbeat personality make her a popular choice for collaborations with other musicians. Emily’s D+Evolution is her fifth studio album and best-reviewed work to date. It has been called fearless, singular, and visionary. Check it out for yourself with the video for “Good Lava.”

A Tribe Called Quest, We got it from Here... Thank You 4 Your serviceA Tribe Called Quest, We got it from Here... Thank You 4 Your service
If you were alive and tuned in to hip hop or “alternative” music in the 1990s, you should be familiar with Queens natives A Tribe Called Quest. Their 1991 album The Low End Theory catapulted them to international fame and went on to be considered one of the best and most influential records of that decade. Individual members Q-Tip and Phife Dawg went on to solo fame and the group officially broke up in 1998. Eighteen years later, the Tribe is back with a new album, which includes contributions from Phife Dawg, who died in March 2016. It features cameos by some well-known artists who cite Tribe as an influence, including Andre 3000, Busta Rhymes, Kendrick Lamar, and Talib Kweli. The album got rave reviews and quickly went to the top of the Billboard 200. If you’re an original fan or new to the “funkonaut” sound, you can stream the whole album (in clean and explicit versions) from Freegal.

Childish Gambino, Awaken, My Love!
You might know Childish Gambino better as Donald Glover, the comedic actor who played Troy on the TV show Community. However, as a rapper, singer, and songwriter, he prefers to be Childish.  His new album might surprise his fans that are used to his “nerd rap.” This time around, he goes for more of a psychedelic soul/funk sound. Some critics couldn’t get past the retro-1970s vibe, but most heartily approved of the homage. Fans of the Temptations, Funkadelic, and even Prince will find a lot to like here, though sometimes it borders on parody. Watch Childish perform the album's latest single, "Redbone," on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Travis Scott, Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight
If you don’t believe that Texas can produce a hit-making hip-hop artist, then here is Travis Scott to prove you wrong. His sophomore effort Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight features a dozen guest artists but, oddly enough, no contribution from Brian McKnight. No matter, the album went straight to number one on the Billboard 200, a first for Travis. It would seem that winning BET’s “People’s Champ Award” added some sales potential to his career. Hear for yourself by streaming the whole album on Freegal.

Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
Bruno Mars is undoubtedly one of the hottest names in show business. Not only is he a well-regarded singer in a variety of styles, but he is also a respected choreographer, musician, and record producer. His live shows are unparalleled, as his Super Bowl halftime appearances in 2014 and 2016 proved. Bruno’s third album, 24K Magic (or, if you'd prefer, XXIVK Magic), was one of the most anticipated releases of 2016, but was kept out of the number one spot on the Billboard 200 by Metallica. No matter the chart position, critics and fans gave it a positive reaction, despite it being only nine songs long and running a little more than 30 minutes. It is to his credit that he decided not to pad the album with remixes or substandard material. Here's Bruno live at the American Music Awards, performing the title track.

Sunflower Bean, Human Ceremony
Sunflower Bean is an indie-rock trio from Brooklyn. Their sound is a bit punk, a little psychedelic, and very reminiscent of 1990s alternative pop. They were crowd favorites at the CMJ Music Marathon in 2014, playing 8 shows in 4 days. Their debut album is Human Ceremony and it showcases their swirly style. Of course, they are bigger in Europe then they are here at home. They’ve just been featured in the British music magazine NME as a band to watch. If you have the chance, see them now before they emigrate. If you can’t get to a show, you can at least watch their video for the song “Wall Watcher."

David Crosby, Lighthouse
David Crosby has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice; first as a founding member of the Byrds and second for his work with Crosby, Stills & Nash. Along the way, he has collaborated with just about everyone else in the Hall of Fame. Lighthouse is his fifth, and possibly best, solo album. The music here is a bit offbeat, not the typical singer-songwriter fare, and it may take a little bit to get in the groove. All the songs are acoustic, most with unusual tuning, and the lyrics are very personal and haunting, from a troubled artist who has been on death’s door more often than Keith Richards. Give a listen to the track “Things We Do for Love."