JACOB BANKS: Day 23 - 30 Days in Chicago presented by Red Bull Sound Select

reppin: birmingham, uk by way of nigeria // interscope // 2012 - present // 26 years old

sounds like: walking around with crazy cool, mid-evil statues on each side of you buffering you from all the bad

jacob banks | lincoln hall, chicago | 11.22.17 | @thefaakehipster

jacob banks | lincoln hall, chicago | 11.22.17 | @thefaakehipster

latest album drop: the paradox (july 2015)

jacob banks | lincoln hall, chicago | 11.22.17 | @thefaakehipster

jacob banks | lincoln hall, chicago | 11.22.17 | @thefaakehipster

featuring: jacob

Rarely do we come across musicians that belt out truth and honestly like their lives depend on it on stage. There is a fine line when it comes to the difference between putting on a show and pouring your emotions and well being into a performance. Jacob Banks is on the right side of that, the latter of course and he is oh so smooth at doing it. Jacob has started to span the globe with his soulful voice and I have been lucky enough to catch him a few times, including a ridiculous performance at SXSW 2017. Yes, in that specific instance I inhaled some equally ridiculous California home grown bud, but in my defense, it was delicious. Chicago, which was built on blues and soul, was graced with Mr. Banks right before turkey time last week and those who made it to the sold out crowd were not disappointed.

As I mentioned in a previous post of JB, he is here on this marble for one reason: to save soul. His voice is powerful, the scratchiness equates to the passion and truth in what he sings. The band spans the spectrum of rock, blues and r&b, forming a well rounded band that will knock your socks off. Jacob took us from song to song, often breaking with a funny phrase or horrible joke that we all laughed at. One thing is for certain: he commands the stage and gets as close to our hearts as he can. Looking around the audience you could see some kids almost crying and at other moments letting it all go. You sure as hell could not just sit there silently.

Even though Jacob is a soul singer, he looks like a rock star out there, especially when he picks up the axe. His roots in Africa and Europe as shown throughout his tracks and you can feel the culture hit you in the live show. Cait and I were grooving all night and the whole audience was feeling it. No matter where you are located you can expect a show full of feels and musical treats that will leave you satisfied.   

suggested listening experience: making sweet sweet love // cruising along on something with wheels // getting ready for the evening

listens: unholy war // worthy // chainsmoking // silver lining // monster // sink or swim // mercy

jb // spotify // fb // twitter // sc // ig

new music: JACOB BANKS

reppin: birmingham, uk by way of nigeria // interscope // 2012 - present // 26 years old

jacob banks | photo cred: next2shine.com

jacob banks | photo cred: next2shine.com

sounds like: walking around with crazy cool, mid-evil statues on each side of you buffering you from all the bad

last album drop: the paradox (july 2015)

jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

featuring: jacob

This man is here on this blue and green marble to do one thing: save soul. Without soul we have nothing in music. Jacob Banks hails from Nigeria and scooted over to the UK at the young age of 13 where he explored just about every creative arts form. He can hit the keys, strum the guitar and oh baby, can he get those pipes going. He expanded his gift of belting sounds out to writing songs about six years ago and we should all be thankful someone put him in the studio to do just that. He earned his stripes the hard way too, hitting all the open mics he could back home, something that flourished into a career that has begun to take him around the world. What impresses me about this man is his ability to tell stories with his writing. As he described to Billboard, regarding the music video for his tune “Unholy War,” “This video depicts how the world gives people shit for things that are out of their control and the sacrifices people make to keep their magic alive.”

jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

When an individual like Jacob can not only have a commanding vocal presence, the deep ties to society make him even more relevant in my eyes. He has this delicious and nutritious mix of soul, r&b with toppings that include hip-hop and even some good ol’ rock. You can hear the 80s creeping into the 2010s and even some influence form his home country in Africa. This man is only 26 mind you and quite seasoned in the array of styles he can produce. As each song funnels its way into your ears, it will move your body in so many different ways and despite what the lyrics may write out, the sound alone will put smiles on your face.

jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

The first time I was fortunate enough to have Mr. Banks grace me with his presence was at a private showcase at SXSW this year. After lighting up a nice J of Cali’s finest with some new homies, we crept to the back of the small crowd and preceded to drop our jaws...and they just would not close shut. He gives you goosebumps with his range of vocals.. His band makes the hairs on your arms stand up straight. The chills are there in all the right ways. While he has only released a few singles on top of his 2015 release, there is no ceiling in sight for this man. His blends of genres and youth of his career can only allow this man to grow musically. Take a seat, throw on his tunes, and melt into that thing because you won’t need to move anytime soon.

suggested listening experience: making sweet sweet love // cruising along on something with wheels // getting ready for the evening

listens: unholy war // worthy // chainsmoking // silver lining // monster // sink or swim // mercy

jb // spotify // fb // twitter // sc // ig

concert shenanigans: SUNDARA KARMA

reppin: reading, berkshire, uk // 2010 - present // rca records

sounds like: strapping in for the smoothest and dreamiest rollercoaster ride of your life

sundara karma | photo cred: musicfestivalnews.net

sundara karma | photo cred: musicfestivalnews.net

latest album drop: youth is only ever fun in retrospect (jan 2017)

featuring: oscar // dom // ally // haydn

sundara karma | subterranean, chicago | 4.18.17 | @thefaakehipster

sundara karma | subterranean, chicago | 4.18.17 | @thefaakehipster

On a brisk spring day in early 2016 (that could be a lie, but roll with it) I came across these brit pop rockers on the bus on the way to work. An immediate feel of comfort and ease draped over me as the intro of “loveblood” kicked in. Then Ally’s voice held me like a little baby as his range was shown and I was sold on the spot. From there it has been a year of anticipation to see them live, which I finally did in mid-April. First, let’s take you back across the pond as there were numerous human beings who had been rocking out to SK well before we heard of them. These baby faced 21 year olds have been together for some time, but the songs really only track back to 2014. However, their sound seems to have always been a full and pure pop rock, something they seem to continue to perfect as time goes. What I love the most about these young dudes is their range within the rock sound. They can lullaby you and then come back, punch you in the face while you get lost in the haze of a more powerful rock tune. While their musical style is somewhat straightforward and simple, it is so full and head-banging at the same time.

sundara karma | subterranean, chicago | 4.18.17 | @thefaakehipster

sundara karma | subterranean, chicago | 4.18.17 | @thefaakehipster

You figure these young millennials (can you even file millennials to 21 year olds right now) would chat your ear off on stage, and kind of bask in the love being thrown at them. Nope, sorry. Moving swiftly through their tracks, they bring a sound to the live stage that can match their recordings with more emotion and energy. Crisp guitars, a clean bass with drums to match and then those vocals….dreamy. Those catchy choruses that are in your headphones are even more enjoyable live as you can see the emotion in the guy’s faces while you jump up and down with your friends. There is an obvious raise in vocals all over the place as they get into their heavy hitters like “a young understanding,” “flame” and “loveblood.” Once it is all said and done you are exhausted from moving your body and singing along, yet so calm in the feels that ran through you during the set. There are big things to come for this group, especially if they stay true to their sound.

suggested listening experience: anywhere you can freely move your body to rock out // long transit rides // make out sessions

listens: loveblood // a young understanding // happy family // she said // flame // deep relief

sk // twitter // ig // spotify // fb // sc

new music: CHAD VALLEY

reppin: oxford, uk // cascine records // 2010 - present

sounds like: taking one of those rafting rides through super cool caves --> eye opening and soothing

chad valley | photo cred: thelineofbestfit.com

chad valley | photo cred: thelineofbestfit.com

last album drop: entirely new blue (oct 2015)

featuring: hugo manuel

chad valley | photo cred: einsteinmusicjournal.co.nz

chad valley | photo cred: einsteinmusicjournal.co.nz

Mr. Manuel hooks you in with his chill synth-pop so you may as well call it a win for him getting you hooked. His soothing sounds at the right speeds and voice to match really set the tone for what this man has done since 2010. While it totally does not make sense to talk about a English artist on this shitshow of an election day, this dude is way more deserving of headlines than the turd sandwich and giant douche. Chad Valley started as a side project as he headed the band Jonquil, quickly releasing two EPs that were just the beginning to mastering his craft. I really dig the way way his vocals kind of drag over the synthy beats, giving it a very friendly sort of feel. Listen to “shell suite”....so good! As we move toward his first full length, Under the Radar, you could start to notice the smoothly produced tracks, blended 80s pop beats...clearly from an out there, creative thinking artist. So, to bring you up to speed, Chad Valley’s sound has truly evolved, especially when you tune into his latest, entirely new blue.

 If you love funky beats and the 80s this album is definitely for you. The range is clearly audible, be it slower songs vs more upbeat ones. There are some very creative drums involved that takes the childish sound of synth wave away (think about those silly synth pop bands from high school). “Arms away” takes you back in time, while showing one how to layer some great beats, yet have a simple overall listen. Dare I say some of his tracks even get a bit tropical, which fits well with the overall flow of the album. Throughout his career, Hugo loves using guest artists and producers on his tracks because he his in fact a solo artist. Being one dimensional is no fun for anyone. This does not take away from the talent he posses, both on the vocals and production side of things. Given his creativity and ability to collaborate with others, I can see a lot of cool and different tunes coming our way soon.

suggested listening experience: on the way home after a very long day at work // bubble bath // pre dance floor warm up routine

listens: shell suite // arms away // now that im real (how does it feel?!) // moon under water // fast challenges // true

cv // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // sc

concert shenanigans: UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS

reppin: cambridge, uk // rise above (formed 2009)

ua&td | metro 9.13.16 | @thefaakehipster

ua&td | metro 9.13.16 | @thefaakehipster

sounds like: dropping acid with Johnny Depp during his crazy days, but it is really a flashback to 1967 or something, and waking up after an hour saying "I blacked-out, but that was the most out of body experience i've ever had"

last album drop: the night creeper (september 2015)

featuring: kevin starrs // yotam rubinger // itamar rubinger // vaughn stokes

That Metro Chicago smell and vibe always gets me amped up as I pass Wrigley Field and head on into the venue. I’ve seen countless acts there ever since my mom gave me permission to go to concerts by myself back in 2001 (I’m 29, do the math, I was never good at it). The spot hits a different level when you get pure rock n’ roll on stage...and an even higher level when the mates from Great Britain that are Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats grace the stage. Before we dive into all the feels of the set, a little setup for y’all: their name was taken from Rusty Day, most known for the band Cactus, who had formed another group called Uncle Acid & The Permanent Damage Band. Everything from their name and sound to their look is influenced heavily by one of the best eras of music around. So, how does one stay relevant in today’s era of music? Throw some pop in there, much of what we got in the 1970s and much of what you’ll hear in their more recent joints. Just put these dudes on shuffle and I highly doubt you’ll be skipping any songs.

ua&td | metro 9.13.16 | @thefaakehipster

ua&td | metro 9.13.16 | @thefaakehipster

As for the show, from the opening note us kids in the crowd were taken through a journey that we wished did not end. While it was hard to tell dudes and chicks apart from behind...because of you know, all the hair, it was extremely well received. It is one thing to just attend a show and that next morning when your friend ask how was it your response is “yea, it was fun.” When you go see UA&TD live, your response is, “holy fucking shit I was taken to a new planet.” Personally, I want that set to tell me a story, to immerse me in emotions where I can smile because it is so damn good, and that is exactly how it went down. There was no small talk between sets, just straight, psychedelic rock n’ roll..channeling their inner Pink Floyd, our jaws dropped over and over from solo to solo. In between those beautiful solos?? Headbanging riffs that keep you at attention and off those cell phones...no seriously, those riffs are so heavy with just the right amount of distortion. When it is all said and done, you get this package that is so deliciously evil, yet so beautifully constructed that you are quite okay with the music taking you over...ya dig?

ua&td | metro 9.13.16 | @thefaakehipster

ua&td | metro 9.13.16 | @thefaakehipster

suggested listening experience: roll a j, throw on their vinyl and just lay back // when you need to blow off some steam for whatever reason // end of the work day when you can't wait to bust on out of there

listens: i'll cut you down // pusher man // death’s door // melody lane // over and over again

ua&td // spotify // ig // fb

new music: COASTS

reppin: bristol, uk - tidal records  

sounds like: being on a hawaiian beach with that nice breeze blowing and the sun setting. Side note - I have never been to hawaii

coasts | photo cred: indiecentralmusic.com

coasts | photo cred: indiecentralmusic.com

latest album drop: coasts (jan 2016)

featuring: chris caines // liam willford // james gamage // david goulbourn // ben street

While these dudes formed back in 2011, they recently made a ton of noise with their first LP release and I’m telling you; it is damn good and soothing. Slow beats, demanding vocals and amazing transitions. They seem like one of those bands that was so crisp from the start; that the majors got on them and helped market their already near flawless sound. Considering Warner and Capital are the only labels they have ever known before Tidal, I’d say they are well on their way to packing in fans by the thousands. It’s pretty cool to see them slowly build an album as they got together at first and just wrote. From there a single (Oceans) hit the radio in 2014 and they carried that momentum up through their album release earlier this year.

coasts | photo cred: leadmill.co.uk

coasts | photo cred: leadmill.co.uk

Upon first listen, I immediately noticed how well chris’ vocals pop off the bass-line and drums. The way he extends his pipes over the ear friendly riffs makes every song sound clean, passionate and full of pop. “Wolves is probably the tastiest of all their tracks and can turn the most suttle music listener into a fan. A few listens and you’ll already be singing along with the chorus. I have every bit of respect for bands that have been at it for 5+ years and still trying to find their breakthrough moment...they would kill to be these guys. Cheers to these Brits and a equally as stellar follow up in the next few years.

suggested listening experience: get your bike, longboard or running shoes and cruise // post work after a shitty day...it will bring a smile // that weekend you have to bring home work from the office

listens: oceans (music video below) // tonight // wolves // a rush of blood

coasts // twitter // ig // fb // sc