Listen To Show Here:
Everybody’s Funkin’ and it’s Right On Time!
Funk has been making a comeback over the past few years and 2019 was its Best Year Yet. Funk legends Chaka Khan, Brand New Heavies, Cameo, Morris Day and Pleasure all released new music last year. And there were several Smokin’ compilation albums, including a Prince reissue – 1999 (Super Deluxe Edition) featuring previously unreleased tracks, *Woodstock Sunday August 17, 1969 (Live) from Sly and the Family Stone, the complete recording of the band’s legendary Woodstock performance, The Complete Cotillion Albums from Slave and The Meters’ The Complete Albums 1969-1977 (Source: Funkitopia.com)
Funk is Alive And Well and the Future Looks Bright
But just as great as new content from these celebrated Funksters are the TONS of new Funk releases from young, upcoming artists! So, with that being said, in no particular order, here are my favorite 20 New Funk Releases that I think you’ll want to know about. Funk On!
|TBNH /The Brand New Heavies And N’Dea Davenport
This year’s best new music from a funk legend, The Brand New Heavies’ timeless sound never gets old.
|Hello Happiness / Chaka Kahn
Her first release in over 10 years, the album received mixed reviews, but I loved this new sound from Chaka.
|Now is the Time / Pleasure
Good ol’ classic Funk is what you’ll get with the latest release from Pleasure.
|Jimmy Lee / Raphael Saadiq
Jimmy Lee is a deep, soulful tribute to Raphael Saadiq’s brother, who died of a heroin overdose.
|Outer Peace / Toro Y Moi
Chaz Bundick, aka “Toro y Moi” has produced consistently worthwhile music for over a decade. Outer Peace is his 8th studio album and it does not disappoint. Bundick’s ever thoughtful lyrics, supported by his lush layers of sound, beefy bass and a huge helping of groove are always on my menu.
|Regurgitated Youth /Garrett Shider
FUNK ALBUM OF THE YEAR
|Tuxedo III / Tuxedo
Boogie Funk is all the rage now-a-days, and Tuxedo is one of the best. Their jams are always fun, and remind me of youthful days, and summer breaks with nothin’ to do but hang out and party.
|To Be Announced||I’m Your Man /Jara Harris & Slapbak
Jara Harris is a twenty year veteran of the LA Funk scene. He has amassed an impressive body of work, that has both a heavy P-Funk influence and an original flare. “I’m Your Man” is the single release off of an album that I’m anticipating with bated breath. Keep your eye on this Cat!
|Honeycomb / Kwaku Asante
It’s only a matter of time until Kwaku Asante becomes a household name. With his debut EP, Honeycomb, the project’s first single, “Molasses”, is a funk-filled voyage filled with a groove-soaked bass line that’s impossible not to shake a leg to. Just as you become enamored with the instrumentation, his scorching vocals sear through the mix and instantly steal the show. (Source complex.com)
|At First Light / Lynda Dawn
My pick for BEST NEW FUNK ARTIST 2019.
|Sweet Insomnia / Free Nationals
Critics be DAMED, Anderson Paak’s backing band releases their debut solo album, and it’s a keeper. Yes, it sounds like Paak – and that’s a bad thing? The band absolutely needs to grow and find their voice, But in the mean time, I’m diggin’ the “indigenous Funk”!
|Balance / UMI
Seattle born, LA based singer/songwriter UMI is poised to become the next unstoppable R&B songstress à la Jorja Smith. A student at University of Southern California, the songwriter incorporates a mix of alternative neo-soul, R&B and lo-fi production seamlessly into her work in a way which feels, at once, both timeless and timely. (Source: onestowatch.com)
|HAN / Berhana
Berhana first broke through with his 2016 single “Janet”. Now, inspired by Japanese Funk, on his debut genre defying release, Berhana mixes rock, soul, funk and influences ranging from Sam Cooke, Erykah Badu, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson, to bring a sound that is all his own.
|For Those Moments / Amber-Simone
Recorded over the past two years, Amber-Simone’s new project is a welcome throw back to the fresh, funky grooves of the post-disco era. Sometimes called R&B/Soul, Alternative R&B and just about everything but Funk – but it sounds like Funk to me, and I like it! Simone’s vocal was supported by spot on production from Karma Kid, Joe Hertz, Franc Moody and Duval Timothy.
|BUBBA / Kaytranada
Kaytranada’s melodic dance tracks are both a pleasure to groove and listen to. Collaborations with Pharrell, Estelle and Kali Uchis, to name a few.
|Amplified Experiment /The APX
Y’all already know, I LOVE me some APX! Husband and wife duo Dee and Erika Rhodes have the most authentic 80s Boogie sound out there, but yet it still feels fresh, and not merely an imitation.
|All the Way This. All the Way That. / Freekbass
I love Freekbas as a musician and entertainer. However, I think his production tends to be overly glossy and Pop-ish.
|Elevate / Lettuce
Lettuce is a band known for innovation and creative expression set to an undeniable beat. Their latest album, Elevate, out June 14th on Lettuce Records, is the group at their best; intricate and genre-defying. Both sexy and sophisticated in equal measure, Elevate, is the group’s sixth studio album and their first release of original music in three years. While the music certainly retains the tripped out funk Lettuce has perfected, it also showcases a strong forward-looking vibe. A surefire pleaser for die-hard fans and new listeners alike (Source: thewaster.com)
|Hit The Ceiling / Isaac Waddington
Isaac Waddington was introduced to the world on the TV talent show “Britan’s Got Talent”, This incredibly soulful artist released his debut album “Borselli”, in 2018 and followed up this year with four single releases; “Make it Better”, “Let Me in Your Heart”, “Loving You is Easy” and “Hit The Ceiling”. He is definitely an artist to watch.
|Don’t Stop the Groove / Rudy Barnes
One listen to this track, and it’s no surprise that Rudey Barnes is a kindred spirit to James Brown. From his bio:
|Apollo XXI / Steve Lacy
Steve Lacy, guitarist for The Internet, steps out on his own and serves up a modern take on old school psychedelic funk that is absolutely intoxicating – like going deep inside someone’s trippy dream.
|Hypervigilant / Steven A Clark
Hypervigilant, Clark’s third release, fuses effects laden rock guitar, synths and vocals, with a deep, driving pulse to produce a sometimes heavy, emotion driven album, fueled by the pain of a failing relationship. Prince is definitely an influence, but the sound is all Clark. Listen a few times and let it sink in.
|The Last Party / Matt Martians
Matt Martin aka Matt Martians, was a founding member of Los Angeles hip hop collective Odd Future and is also a member of The Internet, and a host of other Odd Future sub-groups.
|Analog Dreams / BLAKBOT
BLAKBOT is a dance music collective composed of Kenyatta Scott, DJ Donne, and U.K.’s DAZ-I-KUE. The trio combines electronic sounds with traditional soulful, funky and Jazz elements, drawing on the rich heritage of American Soul and Dance music to create a truly standout sound. Analog Dreams is a Dance music suite with songs ranging from House, Detroit techno to Salsa, Samba to Rock, Funk and more. A definite Groove
|FourFront / Zo!
The Master of Mellow, Zo!’s 8th studio release, FourFront, is brimming with the silky smooth grooves we’ve come to know and love him for. His Roy Ayers’ jazz funk style is evident in a great way on these tracks. A consistently good project, just start from the top and let it play.
|Thirty One / Laville|
|Reparate / Nicole Willis|