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Sampa The Great

As Above, So Below

    Relocating home to Zambia during the pandemic, Sampa sought to reconnect with a different side of herself, a side that is freer and closer in resemblance to the younger artistry she cultivated growing up in Africa. This process of discovery would become the gateway to revealing her highest version of self. Choosing to collaborate with creatives Rochelle Nembhard and Imraan Christian from South Africa, As Above, So Below introduces us to a 360 Sampa, unveiling her many sides for the first time. From the funny to the serious to the sensual, As Above is Sampa outside’s self, and So Below, is the Sampa within, together uniting to reveal the most authentic version of Sampa, without a mask, or role to play.

    As Above, So Below is anchored by spoken word in Bemba. The record delves into Sampa’s memories of Africa, Africa’s relationship to the world and what womanhood in Africa means to the world. We are also introduced to the persona of Eve, the highest version of Sampa that speaks to all facets of her womanhood.

    The musical styles of As Above, So Below reflect the hybridity of Sampa’s upbringing. Raised in Botswana (a different country to her birthplace in Zambia), and then going on to attend school in different countries again, Sampa picked up varied musical influences along the way. Each style has attached itself to her own musical encyclopedia, and finds a new mode for expression throughout the record.


    1. Shadows
    2. Lane Ft. Denzel Curry
    3. Never Forget Ft. Chef 187, Tio Nason, Mwanjé
    4. Mask On Ft. Joey Bada$$
    5. BONA
    6. Can I Live Ft. W.I.T.C.H
    7. Imposter Syndrome Ft. James Sakala
    8. Tilibobo
    9. Lo Rain Ft. Mwanjé
    10. IDGAF Ft. Kojey Radical
    11. Let Me Be Great Ft Angélique Kidjo


    Disco4 :: Generations Part II

      Health’s latest collaborative album, DISCO4 :: PART II, is out via Loma Vista Recordings to praise and features via Kerrang! (digital cover story), Revolver, Brooklyn Vegan, Metal Injection, DIY Magazine, Treble, and more. The 12-song LP featuring Nine Inch Nails and Lamb of God arrives with six previously unreleased collaborations–including “NO ESCAPE” with The Neighbourhood, as well as The Body, Backxwash, and Perturbator, among others–and a new original HEALTH single, “THESE DAYS”.


      1 Dead Flowers (Feat. Poppy)
      2 Isn't Everyone (Feat. Nine Inch Nails)
      3 Murder Death Kill (Feat. Ada Rook & PlayThatBoiZay)
      4 Identity (Feat. Maenad Veyl)
      5 Cold Blood (Feat. Lamb Of God)
      6 AD 1000 (Feat. The Body)
      7 Pagan-iconz (Feat. Backwash & HO99O9)
      8 The Joy Of Sect (Feat. Street Sects)
      9 Still Breathing (Feat. Ekkstacy)
      10 No Escape (Feat. The Neighbourhood)
      11 Excess (Feat. Perturbator)
      12 These Day

      Action Bronson

      Only For Dolphins

        On White Bronco, Action Bronson’s 2018 release, he rapped “my next album’s only for dolphins,” and the principled MC is nothing if not true to his word. A Queens legend, respected for his idiosyncratic pen and vivid raps, Action is a decade into his career and still deepening his skillset. “The dolphin is one of the most intelligent creatures ever created on whatever planet we're on,” Action explains. “They have their own way of communicating. They have nuance and intangibles like we do.” In a perfectly unusual analogy, he likens the aquatic mammal to the storied “five-tool” baseball player—that is, the extraordinary class of player who combines all elements of the game. “The only people who understand me are those five-tool players, those higher beings who are on the same telepathic wave as me.” Thus, Only for Dolphins, out on August TK.

        Action keeps Only for Dolphins among family, working with producers and rappers he’s known for years. The Alchemist, Harry Fraud, Budgie, DJ Muggs, Samiyam, Daringer, and Tommy Mas provide crackling psychedelic soundscapes for Bronson’s unique tales.

        His close friend Meyhem Lauren and Lauren’s brother Hologram are the only featured MCs. Bronson himself produced two of the songs, including the exuberant “Capoeira,” which kicks off the album with a saxophone solo. As much time as he spends on the wordplay and imagery, he’s dialed into the sonics too.

        The first single “Latin Grammys” is a tribute to family. Produced by Tommy Mas, who produced all of Action’s 2011 debut project, Dr. Lecter, the beat for “Latin Grammys” is many years old. The file was originally labeled “Ozersky,” a nod to the beloved food writer Josh Ozersky, who tragically passed away in 2015. Ozersky and Action were close; in fact Ozersky was the first person to put Action on television via his show Ozersky TV. One day Action was going through old beats, saw the file, and knew he had to do something special in honor of his friend. Over a slinky brass and guitar loop, he raps with casual gusto about swim trunks stuffed with cash and black trench coats, Dolph Lundgren and Derek Jeter. “It’s Young Baklava, you know me,” he concludes.

        Bronson is a collector—of experiences, of sounds, of culture. He’s especially happy with the Budgie-produced “Golden Eye,” a nod to the classic N64 shooter and to the resort in Jamaica; it samples a beautiful lovers rock track, which is a real point of pride for Action. “It’s a very specific UK subgenre,” he says, referring to the romantic reggae style that rose to prominence in London in the ‘70s. The flip gives “Golden Eye” a lush and sweet bed for Action to lovingly describe acrobatic sex and expensive rugs, wet with spilled wine.

        To be a fan of Action is to be a fan of detail. Only for Dolphins is studded with remarkable specificity. On “Vega” he raps, “My alibi for the police is I was naked in Seattle”—a line only Action could come up. Befitting that attention to minutiae, Action hand-painted the album artwork, crafting, a figurative depiction of death and dolphins and gold coins.

        “Congratulations” is the first word rapped on the album and it’s fitting to see this as the culmination of every skill Action has carefully honed over the last decade. He’s an insatiable and generous artist who wants to take the listener on a tour of his creativity. Welcome to his world. 


        Matt says: Quick-witted with an incredible knack at storytelling, "Only For Dolphines" is perhaps his most fan-centric release to date: chronicling events and tales that his devotees will be familiar with, whilst dealing to the rest of us a hilariously stark social commentary full of phrases you'll be urban dictionary-ing till the middle of next week.


        1. Capoeira Ft. Yung Mehico
        2. C12H16N2
        3. Latin Grammys
        4. Golden Eye
        5. Mongolia Ft. Hologram & Meyhem Lauren
        6. Vega
        7. Splash
        8. Sergio
        9. Shredder
        10. Cliff Hanger
        11. Marcus Aurelius
        12. Hard Target 

        Sylvan Esso

        Free Love

          What started out in LA with Jon Hill and was finished back in North Carolina at Sylvan Esso’s home studio, "Free Love" asks major questions about self-image, self-righteousness, friendship, romance, and environmental calamity with enough warmth, playfulness, and magnetism to make you consider an alternate reality. These are Sylvan Esso’s most nuanced and undeniable songs—bold enough to say how they feel, big enough to make you join in that feeling.


          1. What If
          2. Ring
          3. Ferris Wheel
          4. Train
          5. Numb
          6. Free
          7. Frequency
          8. Runaway
          9. Rooftop Dancing
          10. Make It Easy

          Margo Price

          That's How Rumors Get Started

            "Everybody wants to know / how I feel and what I think," Margo Price sings in her emotive, bittersweet twang, halfway through her third full-length record. On That's How Rumors Get Started, Price has committed her genre-bending rock-and-roll show to record for the first time, stretching out into sky-high soft-rock, burning psychedelic rock ballads, stomping road songs, and sprinkles of pop.

            Twinkle Twinkle:
            'Twinkle Twinkle' is an anti-nostalgia anthem of sorts, about the polarization of becoming a more well-known artist, and the wild ride that was Margo Price's last few years. It traces her trajectory: she gets by, gets high, racks up debt, can’t pay the rent, plays dives to stay alive. "If it don’t break you, it might just make you rich," she sings, with heroic sass.

            In fact, the song was inspired by a back-stage encounter with Marty Stuart and the Superlatives at a music festival that was otherwise pretty bleak. (Price has played with Superlatives guitarist Kenny Vaughan over the years.) After the show, in Stuart’s trailer, while he tuned his guitars, he said to Price, “So, you and the band have been on the road a lot lately, do you all hate each other yet?” As Price recalls it: “I said, ‘No, well, I mean, our marriages are falling apart and our health’s deteriorating. But other than that, we’re great.’ And he looks at me, and he gets this gleam in his eye, and he says, ‘You wanted to be a star.. Twinkle twinkle.’”

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: One of the most pivotal figures in the new country renaissance, Margo Price impressed us all with her 2016 LP 'Midwest Farmer's Daughter' and this new outing is only going to expand upon that reputation. Modern country songs, imbued with modern techniques but never forgetting the sense of historic legacy inherent in the genre. Superb.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. That's How Rumors Get Started
            2. Letting Me Down (featuring Sturgill Simpson)
            3. Twinkle Twinkle
            4. Stone Me
            5. Hey Child
            6. Heartless Mind
            7. What Happened To Our Love
            8. Gone To Stay
            9. Prisoner Of The Highway
            10. I’d Die For You

            Local Natives

            Violet Street

              Local Natives are an American indie rock band based in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, California. Face-to-face songwriting and musical interplay put to tape: the classic studio setting is juxtaposed on Local Natives’ fourth full-length, Violet Street with modern production and visuals to form a timeless album. The band’s signature soaring 3-part harmonies are augmented by loops of tape, physically spliced and transformed by hand, the result of experimenting in the studio with producer Shawn Everett [Alabama Shakes, Kacey Musgraves, The War On Drugs] is a band renewed.

              TRACK LISTING

              01. Vogue
              02. When Am I Gonna Lose You
              03. Café Amarillo
              04. Munich II
              05. Megaton Mile
              06. Someday Now
              07. Shy
              08. Garden Of Elysian
              09. Gulf Shores
              10. Tap Dancer

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