Hey I’m Grady Tyree, a gatekeeper of sorts for PlayNetwork, and the collection of songs I’m including are emblematic of my favorite album from 2019, Jessy Wilson’s debut Phase. There are a lot of strong female voices, a solid thread of funk and soul as well as some gnarly riffs peppered throughout, hopefully enough to get your head bobbin’ or foot tappin’ to the grooves!
Artist: Jessy Wilson
Track: Clap Your Hands
As of late Thirty Tigers has been on a roll with top-notch releases and back in April, my ears were baptized in the sonic splendor of Jessy Wilson’s debut release Phase and it’s rarely left my car CD player or random playlist I’ve put together in 2019! Brooklyn native, now Nashville resident, got her start back in 2013, touring as a back-up singer to Alicia Keys then forming her first band, Muddy Magnolias, only to move on to a solo career that includes co-writing credits with the likes of Usher, Kanye and Macy Gray. Wilson and her producer, Patrick Carney of the Black Keys, co-wrote much of the album within 40 days and it tells her story and the phases she’s transitioned through to get to this point. The album oozes soul and funk from the 60s with fuzz rock from the 70s, all blended to perfection with Jessy’s dynamic vocals! The ENTIRE album is great, I highly recommend going through it, front-to-back, but if you want something to whet your appetite, I’d suggest “Clap Your Hands,” “Cold In The South,” “LOVE me” and the beautiful album closer “LA night!!”
Artist: Black Pumas
2019 is a year of SOUL! So much amazing soul music has been released in this calendar year and the self-titled debut from this Austin-based duo is right up there at the top(s) of most lists! The now-Grammy-nominated band dropped 10 groove-worthy tracks that should be infecting your year-end playlists at this instance! The crooning opener “Black Moon Rising” is quintessential to their sound, the smooth vocals of Eric Burton laid on-top of the funk/soul soundscape crafted by Adrian Quesada. The hype was realized in back in March, a good 3 months prior to release, when the band got huge responses from their SXSW showcases, and then they won a best new band trophy at the 2019 Austin Music Awards. Don’t sleep, and don’t forget about this release, you’ll regret it, guaranteed.
“Homeboy” is a song that has burrowed its way into my frontal lobe since I first hit the play button on my computer way back at the beginning of the year. On the band’s third full-length release, things seemed to click into place, and they found a new identity. Per Justin Osborne, the guiding force behind SUSTO, the album is personal in nature, and took shape over a couple of years, as familiar faces came and went, the album was produced by Ian Fitchuck (Kacey Musgraves / Ruston Kelly) and features key input from Osborne’s close confidant, Wolfgang Zimmerman. The album meanders from heartfelt singer/songwriter ballads to radio-ready hooks found in “Homeboy” or “Weather Balloons.” If you’re not careful, most will overlook this gem… so here’s a last-minute reminder, check this out!!