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"
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
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
Lee Fields & The Expressions Special Night First press of the CD (double CD) comes with a bonus disc of instrumentals. Soul legend Lee Fields is back with an incredible album and teamed up with The Expressions! "Special Night" is a masterclass in soul music past and present. “I feel that every human being’s purpose is to do what their inner voice says to do,” says Lee Fields. “And my inner voice, my driving force, wants me to put out music and keeping making better records.” Special Night is also the first record in the Expressions catalogue in which every song was written jointly by Lee Fields and The Expressions. Big Crown CD | LP
Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band Scorpio / 8th Wonder A couple of great covers from Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band! Coming after the smashing success of their debut full length “55” they drop 2 B-Boy classics back to back on this tough two sider that comes in a beautifully illustrated picture sleeve. The A side “Scorpio” is a killer cover of the Dennis Coffey breakbeat staple. BRSB turn up the tempo a touch on the original doing the tune justice with crushing drums they have become known for. This is sure to be in every breakbeat enthusiasts box. The B side features the non album cut, BRSB’s cover of The Sugarhill Gang’s 8th Wonder, a tune that lends itself to pans like it was written for them. Another dance floor winner sure to be in DJs sets the world over shortly. Big Crown 7"
El Michels Affair Sounding Out The City Reissue of the first album by Wu Tang collaborator El Michels Affair. One of the very first and most noteable NYC soul scene releases! Leon Michels, who was 18 when recording 'Sounding Out The City' began, had just released 'Thunder Chicken', the first record by his high school band The Mighty Imperials. At the time of SOTC, Michels was just discovering early rocksteady, afrobeat, and 60's garage rock, which inevitably crept its way into the songwriting. Big Crown LP
El Michels Affair / Lee Fields Never Be Another You (Reggae Version) For years, Lee Fields has been asking for and patiently waiting on a reggae rhythm to sing over. To bring this dream to fruition, EMA teamed up with frequent collaborator and reggae enthusiast, Nick Movshon, and busted out this version of the Lee Fields & The Expressions' instant classic, Never be Another You. The A side is the vocal version of the tune; EMA cut a killer interpolation of the original and had Lee lay down the vocals like only he can. The result is right on time for summer, a feel good side that can hold court right next to the classics. The B side finds Michels manning the boards for a proper version of the tune. Echoes, drop outs, and reverb flourishes all dancing through the mix in proper reggae style. Big Crown 7"
The Shacks The Shacks The self-titled release from dreamy indie-poppers The Shacks. When you listen to the Shacks’s self-titled debut, you might imagine that Shannon Wise and Max Shrager are much older than their respective 18 and 20 years. But when Shannon’s whisper-vocals breeze through the speakers, you hear the youthfulness of their sound which then in turn explains the fearlessness of their songwriting. Both vaguely familiar and completely fresh, The Shacks are one of the most interesting NYC bands to surface in a minute. Big Crown CD | LP