Who was your favorite featured artist this week? You have until 11am EST next Friday to cast your vote for the next Artist of the Week! Choose between the following:
When we first met Marlene, it seemed the R&B princess-in-waiting was determined to take us back to the 1990s. But with the release of her debut EP Indian Summer, the Swedish chanteuse has effectively dragged the decade’s ethos into the new millennium. Her high-octane dance tune “Bon Voyage,” which seems both radio and club ready. But under its slick production and ear worm chorus chanting is a series of twisted beats that sit closer to countrywoman Fever Ray’s dark world than the Top 40 charts.
It’s been nearly a half-decade that Jah Vinci has been a regular presence on the Jamaican dancehall scene, but 2014 might be the year he becomes a star. Originally part of Vybz Kartel’s Portmore Empire/Gaza crew, the dancehall artist branched out on his own a few years ago after confessing to Jamaica’s IRIE FM that he felt stifled as an artist with Gaza. Now in 2014, all that hard work and traveling is finally starting to pay off with a pair of excellent new singles off his debut LP, Ghetto Born which hit the streets this past July.
Today cumbia infiltrates dance floors all over the Northern Hemisphere and keeps introducing the originally-Colombia-based genre to a whole new global audience. While for many it was just a passing fad — the exotic third-world rhythm du jour — for others, it was a doorway into the rich Afro-Colombian culture and its various genres and subgenres (vallenato, champeta, currulao, etc). For those who grew up in Colombia, like Palenke Soultribe, it was a chance to explore their own roots and display them with pride for the world to see — and dance to.
The Self Defense Family is quite a big one. Formerly known as End of a Year, the family’s grown to encompass about 16 members scattered across the United States, United Kingdom and Iceland, swapping out members for every recording and/or tour. (And there are many). Borrowing sounds and progressive concepts from the DC hardcore punks who brought you “Revolution Summer,” the Family shifts their station wagon into first gear and steers it into jangly post-hardcore territory, reversing into protopunk with some 1970s rock licks.
Daniel Riveros, formerly of the indie folk duo Taller Dejao — but most commonly known as Gepe — has teamed up with Chile’s prince of pop, Alex Anwandter, for the duet of your Iberoamerican pop fantasies. Thankfully for their off-stage friendship, the chemistry created between these two lovelies in the recording studio is all too worthwhile. Daniel’s well-crafted composition and sublime fusions of Andean folk with indie pop, along with Alex’s pristine production abilities combine for an effortless and remarkable team debut.