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Record Roundup

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Black Star Riders

Heavy Fire

Nuclear Blast

Born from Thin Lizzy, the Riders straddle that magical place of rock nostalgia and modern flair. This isn’t quite uncharted musical territory, but the arena swagger and ‘70s power chords pave the way to a formidable album. Standouts include the Lizzyfied “True Blue Kid” and southern soul of “Cold War Love.”

‑ Nikki Hedrick


Heart Science


Tallahassee band hits all the right notes with their latest indie pop release. Brightside crafts a more mature, polished sound than on previous efforts, proving they’re now poised to make a giant splash beyond regional markets. Catchy, uptempo, and deserving of a listen.

‑ Nikki Hedrick

Zach Deputy

Wash It in the Water

Organic Soul

Feel good music that sparkles. Built from a melting pot of funk, Cajun, soul, reggae, hip‑hop and whatever else strikes Deputy’s fancy to create his own genre. And what a genre it is, given that he’s a one‑man band. Deputy’s clear voice and sharp lyrics is the connecting puzzle piece from the soulful tunes to the energetic jams. Deputy headlines the Bojamz music festival March 26 at Boshamps in Destin.

‑ Nikki Hedrick




The debut album from 21‑year‑old R&B powerhouse Kehlani is a work of unrelenting female empowerment. She has created a brand of infectious major label pop that refuses to play by the rules of the mainstream or perform the stereotype of the young woman pining over a lost love. Kehlani instead takes her vulnerabilities and mistakes in relationships and turns them into an untouchable confidence. She does serious, mature self‑reflecting on love and lust through crooning soul ballads and bouncy pop hits, ultimately coming out on top and asserting the multiplicity of femininity and sexuality.

‑ Jane Morgan

Miles Mosley


Alpha Pup Records/World Galaxy

On Uprising, upright bassist and bandleader Mosley teams up with WCGD (West Coast Get Down), a collective he co‑founded with such notables as Kamasi Washington and Dontae Winslow, among others. Mosley was reportedly named for that other Miles guy. Uprising, while not specifically a tribute to Davis, spiritually incorporates the funk/fusion and sheer pressure‑cooked swagger of Mosley’s namesake and his latter‑day releases. You might also catch a hint of Motown, reggae and who knows what else. There’s no set order to listening to the 11 tracks—just touch “random” and let Mosley and company pin your ears back.

‑ Bruce Collier

Nicholas Payton

Afro‑Caribbean Mixtape

Paytone/Ropeadope Records

New Orleans trumpeter and socio‑cultural provocateur Payton’s Afro‑Caribbean Mixtape gives him a chance to wear both hats. The 22 tracks incorporate both music and the spoken word, resulting in a narrative running commentary of the artist’s free‑associated observations, set over and against a moody jazz background. Whether you agree with Payton’s personal reflections or not, his playing, which jumps nimbly from cool jazz to insistent hard bop (and elsewhere), speaks for itself. This is as much a work of theatre as music. With Payton here are Vicente Archer (bass), Joe Dyson (drums), Daniel Sadownick (percussion) and DJ Lady Fingaz.

‑ Bruce Collier



Young Turks

Sampha, the soulful British vocalist and experimental producer, made a name for himself collaborating on stunning pop songs with artists including Drake, Beyonce and Solange. With his debut solo album, he is finally ready to tell his own story. Process is an album of hurting and healing, as Sampha works through familial death, anxiety and romantic yearning. His intricate production is as emotive as his confessional lyrics and warbling soprano that transforms from a whisper to a yelp to a declaration. The album embodies its title as noun and verb, as Sampha processes grief and accepts love and loss as parts of his own process, both artistic and emotional.

‑ Jane Morgan


Live in Paris

Sub Pop

All the evidence you need that these ladies are the greatest rock ‘n roll band of the last decade and a half.

‑ Chris Manson



Razor & Tie

Led by an electrical engineer with a PhD and named for a scientific society, Starset is known for their use of vocoders and space suits. It may seem Devo gimmicky, but Starset proved their staying power when “My Demons” (from 2014’s Transmissions) broke a Billboard record for weeks on the charts. Vessels has already earned top rankings on Amazon, with the dreamy, progressive “Monster” leading the way. Other standouts include the lyrical and lovely “Ricochet” and “Bringing It Down,” as well as the melodic, beat‑driven “Back to Earth”—good enough to keep Starset out of one hit wonderland.

‑ Joni Williams

The Rough Guide to Hillbilly Blues

World Music Network

Excellent compilation of backwoods bluesmen, with only two of the 25—Charlie Poole and Jimmie Rodgers—having ever appeared anywhere near my radar. Hot playing throughout, and I’m ready to grab my gitfiddle and learn Walter Smith’s “The Cat’s Got the Measles and the Dog’s Got the Whooping Cough.” And maybe Dick Justice’s “Cocaine.”

‑ Chris Manson
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