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Five can’t-miss songs from the PNW
Pierre Kwenders, “Sexus Plexus Nexus” This year’s Song of the Summer is sung in French, English and Lingala by an underground superstar of Congolese-Canadian descent. For his latest album of future-facing soul, MAKANDA at the End of Space, the Beginning of Time, Montreal-based Pierre Kwenders traveled to Seattle to record with Tendai Maraire of Shabazz Palaces as producer.
Spirit Award, “Fields” This space-rocking Seattle trio releases their debut album Neverending in October, previewed by this serpentine lead single. Around a motorik rhythm, skeletal and propulsive, synths sparkle, bass crashes and the track zooms into the outer realms, crossing paths with the Perseids.
Aminé, “Turf” Fresh from his appearance on the cover of XXL’s 2017 Freshman Class issue, PDX MC Aminé teams up with former Gap Band singer Charlie Wilson for this mournful ode to the way things—his old neighborhood, his long-gone childhood—used to be: “These are the only days I miss/Like the first shorty I kissed/I used to have dreams/Now I dream.”
Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons with Phil Wiggins, “Shanghai Rooster” Ben Hunter is Seattle’s torchbearer for what he calls Black Americana—ancestral strains of African American blues, bluegrass and country folk that presage pop. On this country chestnut taken from his new live album A Black & Tan Ball, Hunter and banjo partner Joe Seamons are joined by harmonica player Phil Wiggins for a front-porch rave-up that sounds just like the dog days of summer.
Neu Yeuth, “Oh Lover” Claire Grayson has a way with words—words that sound especially alluring in her coy coo, swathed in Huntington Filson’s wubbly bass, electronic fingersnaps and stupid-catchy synth riff. “Will you dance for me like we’re starting a revolution?”