Tuned In-Spin These New Release August 18th

Tuned In has been offline for the last several weeks, but we’re back at it serving up the most interesting new releases each week. This week is no exception, with some incredible drops in pop, indie, jazz, and Americana roots. What are you checking out? What did we miss?

Genesis Owusu-Struggler

Ghanian-Australian born musician Genesis Owusu released one of the most interesting albums of 2021 on Smiling With No Teeth. The album straddled a number of genres, which included hip-hop and r&b. But it would be a mistake to pin him down to those two genres, as he has proved on the first several tracks of his newest album Struggler. “Leaving the Light,” “Tied Up,” and “Stay Blessed” take a stab at indie rock, to great effect. To my ears, he’s filling in the gigantic hole left by TV on the Radio on these three tracks. Which is exciting and so welcomed. But if I learned anything from SWNT, you can’t judge the direction and scope of an album from a few songs. So I’m incredibly excited to see the journey Owusu takes the listener on with Struggler. Stream the new album HERE.

Jon Batiste-World Music Radio

Jon Batiste’s follow up to the critically acclaimed WE ARE is a pop concept album. According to pauseandplay.com, the album is “led by an interstellar traveling griot named Billy Bob Bo Bob, who takes listeners sonically all around the world at the speed of light.” Holy crap, that sounds amazing. Although concept albums are largely reserved for the more fringe regions of music, The Weeknd proved on last year’s AOTY Dawn FM that there is more than enough room in mainstream music for this brand of artistic creativity. Batiste has clearlyshown that there is space for art in pop music, as evidenced by the bajillion Grammy’s he garnered for WE ARE. And tracks like “Drink Water” which features Jon Bellion and “Be Who You Are” which features JID reiterate the man has not slowed down on his quest to prove that pop does not mean vapid. Stream the new album HERE.

Rhiannon Giddens-You’re The One

Rhiannon Giddens is not new to the Americana scene. She took America by storm during her time with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, which drew an audience with their cover of Blu Cantrell’s “Hit ‘Em Up Style.” Since her time with that group, Giddens has released two solo records and two collaborative efforts. She continues to lean heavily into the roots of American Appalachia, eschewing stardom that could easily come her way if she moved into the pop arena in exchange for something closer to her own roots. The newest album continues in that great tradition, with tracks both soulful and melancholy, drawing the listener into a place, a time, and a culture. You’re the One features backing vocals from Jason Isbell, who is one of the best and most important voices in alternative country music today. This is the perfect end-of-summer record to settle into as the season begins to change. Stream You’re The One HERE.

Cautious Clay-Karpeh

Songwriter and producer Cautious Clay dives deep into jazz on his newest album Karpeh. This makes sense, since it is being released on the legendary jazz label Blue Note. Tracks like “Yesterday’s Price” are a full instrumental jazz freakout, while others such as “Another Half” and “Ohio” feature his silky smooth vocals that help mellow out the listening experience. Clay has always been eclectic and ambitious in the past, and listeners should expect nothing less on Karpeh. Stream the new album HERE.

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