We're a month into the new year, and a lot has changed already. One thing that's stayed the same? Phoenix musicians putting out great new tunes. Here are our picks for the best songs of the month.
DOMS, 'Night Man' and 'Trapper II'
Back in October, Phoenix garage punk outfit DOMS released "Destruct," the first single produced by their recent, full-band approach to songwriting. Last month, the teamwork continued to make the dream work as the band unveiled a new two-single EP, "Night Man" and "Trapper II." Instead of choosing just one song for your consumption, please carve out the full six minutes required for both tracks. That's because they feel like two sides of the same coin: a groovy, slightly hypnotic spin on garage that's as sensuous and sweltering as it is moody and intense. And because the band recorded both tunes live, you get a real sense of where DOMS have landed creatively: somewhere truly weird and wonderful.
Midna Moonshine, 'Right To Choose'
Don't let the fact that Donald Trump is out of the White House convince you that our collective work is over. A whole slew of important social issues still need ample support, and several Valley musicians, alongside MT Threat Productions, have banded together for a new charity compilation. Keep It Safe, Keep It Accessible features established Valley acts, like Playboy Manbaby and Mouse Dog Bird, and several newcomers raising essential money for Abortion Fund of Arizona. If you needed even more reason to buy the comp come February 14, check out Midna Moonshine's "Right To Choose." This earnest, hugely emotional folk tune cuts right to the heart of the abortion debate and proves why great art is often the best fundraiser.
Jerusafunk, 'The Sun & Roy Flynn'
For those unaware, Jerusafunk have been operating out of the Valley for some time, crafting what they've often described as "sexified Jewish folk." Their latest album, February’s JFUNK, is full of just such grooves, a tasty snapshot of the fire and charisma that goes into their unique take on old-school klezmer. Case in point: "The Sun & Roy Flynn," a psychedelic funk jam dripping with big brass, a thumping bass groove, and plenty of sex appeal. It’s sort of like if Sun Ra joined Parliament, or if your school marching band was somehow transported into very deep space. Either way, Jerusafunk have once again delivered some truly tasty sounds.
Teek Hall and G1ToTheRescue, 'Hot Tag'
Traditionally speaking, birthdays are a time to receive gifts from friends, family, and perhaps even your local yogurt shop. But Valley MC Teek Hall absolutely bucks tradition by teaming up with producer G1ToTheRescue to celebrate his own birth with a new seven-track EP, Thirty Six. Amid a rather solid offering of West Coast-leaning, nerdcore-tinged rap is the project’s clear standout, "Hot Tag." Sure, Hall once more lets loose with the ample wrestling references over this big, bass-heavy track that could easily double as some grappler’s entrance music. But it’s also a snapshot of Hall’s skill and charm, and when he says, "All I need is a rating on Pitchfork," you can’t help but think he’s more than earned the adulation.
Tyrick Watson, 'One Day, I'm Certain'
Tyrick Watson might not yet know the name of his forthcoming musical project, but his first batch of songs, released as Starry Eyed and Glowing, form a sort of "concept album" that demands to be played in full. (That aforementioned concept? "None of your goddamn business," he says.) Despite how great the entire LP sounds, "One Day, I'm Certain" deserves some extra attention. Blurring the lines between dream pop, folk, and American primitive guitar, this emotional ballad alternates beautifully between the ethereal and the brooding. Forget whatever Watson knows or doesn't know; we know this LP is a true earworm.
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