Just as she takes up space in the male-dominated Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area punk scene, Sneaks aka Eva Moolchan takes up space among the patriarchy. Highway Hypnosis, her forthcoming album on Merge Records that will drop in January, plays on hip-hop, post-punk, and invented words to fill a gap between the feminist underground and genre-specific singles charts. Through it, Moolchan joins the resistance forged by queer black feminists who create, explore, empower, conquer, and play bass.
The solo act, born with Pluto in Scorpio, released her first single “Beliefs” in September. The glimmering anthem shrouded in an atmosphere of darkness drops its beat along with a call to arms for all non-believers whose mantra is assigned: “Remove your beliefs and start again / ’cause all I wanna do is start again.”
Flashes of Robyn, Britney Spears, Jock Jams, Nirvana, recess hour on the blacktop, M.I.A., Lil Mama, a hacky sack circle, Aaliyah, and your first Warped Tour experience somehow all make sense inside the mind attached to ears experiencing Highway Hypnosis.
Between responsibility, laughter samples, and charming vocals lies one club banger, your little sister’s anti-meat school lunch protest song, a 55-second epic bass surprise, and a lot of sincerity.
Like a piece of art with as many interpretations as people who view it, Sneaks’ music is kaleidoscopic, completely unique to the listener—and live, it’s even more unassuming. On a tour with Spoon in the spring of last year to support It's a Myth, Sneaks served Boca Mag with a “bizarre punk-hop” set by “an emerging artist on Merge Records whose ability to divide the room was a thing of experimental beauty.”
The best part? Inclusivity is at the heart of Sneaks, and all are welcome to her galaxy…but only the woke will find the wormhole.
Paul Cherewick, monikered Paul Cherry, came up during Chicago’s garage rock golden age of 2014. Despite being in the thick of the DIY scene with up and coming bands such as Twin Peaks and The Lemons, Paul would abandon the all too familiar lofi rock sound of his first EP “on Top” and spend the next 2 years exploring the nuances of jazz and pop, finding his footing with a new sound. Paul Cherry has completely reinvented himself on his upcoming LP, Flavour.
The first single, "Like Yesterday” sets the tone for the record as a brilliantly written, mid-tempo pop ballad. It would fit nicely as a modern addition to Paul McCartney's “Ram” or Todd Rundgren's "Something/Anything," or even Player’s “Baby Come Back.” Paul Cherry crafts melodies on Flavour that sit at the intersection of 1970s yacht rock and Ariel Pink’s lo-fi dream pop. Lyrically, Cherry touches upon millennial culture with references to love in the modern age, phone culture, and giving a conceptually new light-hearted twist to age old old themes of love lost, missed connections and polar political climates.
Nickel&Rose is an American folk-music duo made up of Upright Bassist Johanna Rose and Guitarist Carl Nichols. They formed in the summer of 2016 and spent their first winter and the following spring traveling Europe, playing dozens of shows in France, Czech Republic, Germany, Romania, Poland, and Ukraine. While in Berlin they recorded their EP, Oh Sweet Love, released in April 2017. Oh Sweet Love, is a sweet-sounding auditory souvenir of Nichols’ and Rose’s four month European journey and a recorded testament to the two-piece’s ability to turn tough times into something vibrant with help from a traveling companion.
Nickel&Rose have influences that span the spectrum of American music. Carl’s background brings elements of West African music and Blues while Johanna brings her experience playing Bluegrass, Folk and Jazz. From loss to heart break to love, Nickel&Rose address the human experience with gentle harmonies and soul stirring cries. With a shared appreciation for traditional music and a desire to break rules, the two have have created a unique sound that embodies Americana's past and future.
"'Americana' reminds me of the true power of songs: while I could write pages and pages about the issues this song raises, Nichols and Rose distill the story to such a fine point that it truly takes my breath away and makes the hairs on my arms rise whenever I listen to it." [8/16/18]
—Rachel Cholst, Wide Open Country"
...it doesn’t hurt that it’s one of the best damn folk songs I’ve heard all year." [8/15/18]
—Nathan Leigh, AfroPunk"
During a time when equality on the airwaves has become such a widespread conversation, “Americana” serves as a needed reminder that the genre’s roots did not grow from a white man’s soil." [7/25/18]
—Wide Open Country"
The most perfect Americana track you’ll hear all month..."
—Jonathan Aird, Americana UK
In the beginning, Kwasi Stampley (K-STAMP), was unsure how to begin building a presence in the music scene, but after becoming close with artists such as Webster X, Grace Weber, and others, K-STAMP was given a platform at 88nine to begin his journey. Since then, he has been building his audience, doing live shows, releasing new music, traveling, honing his craft, etc. Recently, K-STAMP'S show at Anodyne's was reviewed by the Shepherd Express. They stated that ''Like many of the most memorable players in Milwaukee’s jazz scene, guitarist Kwasi Stampley (K-Stamp) looks outside of traditional genre influences," claiming that he has "a soulful set that plays like an inspired cross between John McLaughlin, Digable Planets, and Swae Lee" (Shepherd Express). Although young and new to the music scene, K-STAMP'S unique style and sound, has earned him respect within music.