Paul & The Tall Trees So Long Paul Schalda is a poet, perhaps a bit of a tortured soul, a hopeless romantic, and a guy from Staten Island. That last bit might not make sense to people who aren’t from New York. Let’s say that it puts the blue in his collar and sticks his feet to the ground. Paul’s music seems to embody the unexpected overlap of The Band’s Americana, Ian MacKaye’s unhinged emotion, Otis Redding’s raw soul, and the doo-wop melodies his father, Bill Schalda Sr. (a member of Brooklyn vocal group, The Montereys) raised him on. His sophomore album is produced by long time collaborator and old friend Tommy Brenneck and Big Crown’s own Leon Michels. For the people who are already fans of Paul’s debut Our Love In Light, the growth and maturity will be impossible to miss. So Long reads and feels like you snuck in his room and read his journal. Deeply personal and heartfelt, he takes on a variety of topics in the songs, the common thread being the vulnerability and passion he delivers them with. Big Crown Records CD | LP
Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band Great To Be Here Another absolute heater from the Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band - punchy steel band dance floor destroyers! Big Crown 7"
Lee Fields & The Expressions Wake Up / You're What's Needed in My Life Following up on the massive success of Lee Fields' recently released full length It Rains Love, Big Crown drops another 45 for the DJs and collectors, showing off two different sides of Lee & The Expressions' range. The A side "Wake Up" is Lee’s heavy duty, drum driven, anthemic tune for the times. Fields calls out the highly over-used and abused term of the current presidency "fake news." Over a hard as nails sound bed courtesy of The Expressions he goes on asking people to wake up and not let this propaganda sway them from knowing what is right and wrong. The B side "You're What’s Needed In My Life" is a gushing testament to the beauty of love. Solidifying his title as the Professor of Love it's almost like he's writing your girl's valentine for you. Going beyond how happy the woman he is singing to makes him and telling of how she makes everyone she meets happier. This two-sider is about as classic as possible, a heavy duty funk banger on the A side, and nothing but love on the ballad B side. Another classic and timeless offering from the one and only Lee Fields. Big Crown 7"
Bobby Oroza This Love Bobby pushes the borders of soul and rock balladry and creates a sound distinctly his own. Cold Diamond & Mink provide a pitch perfect collection of lo-fi, low-key classics on which Bobby’s smokey tenor floats atop, breaking hearts on some tunes and melting them on others. Maintaining the band’s signature dark and intimate aesthetic, they run the gamut of tempos, breaking hearts on some tunes and mending them on others. The group’s second single “Your Love Is Too Cold” is a stomper that blends the groovy soul drumming of early Motown records with guitar that could have been lifted from a James Bond score and has been getting heavy spins across the globe at soul parties and on radio shows. Bobby takes care of the dancers with a few up numbers, ranging from the northern soul nods on “Lonely Girl” & “Falling in Love” to the 70s jazz funk nod on “Keep On Believing”. However, the ballad lovers with the uncontrollable urge to two-step late into the night will be the real winners with “This Love”. Bobby thrives on the bed of dark and intimate sensuality found on tracks like “Alone Again”, “Down On My Knees”, and “Deja Vu”. The world is about bear witness, and surely be taken back by this strange and unique shade of Soul born in Finland but made for the whole world to enjoy. Big Crown Records CD | LP