It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Bay Area Pop Funk Chanteuse Karyn Paige. Today, I’m happy to announce that she’s dropping a new single to tide us over until she finishes her full length album.
Consistent with her first release, The KP EP (I reviewed here), her latest single “You Know I’ll Always Love You” pays tribute to the Pop R&B heyday of the 80’s with swelling and buzzy synthesizers. Ms. Paige transforms from the sexy fuming diva sitting on the bed in “Stay Away Tonight” to a sunny girl in love that reminds me of Paula Abdul’s great singles.
The smartly spare arrangements, and loping percussion draws us very close to Karyn’s lovely soprano with an adopted affected stuffiness that recalls 1920’s and 30’s jazz singers. Factor in the slightly-kitschy talk box harmony vocal effects and you have one perfect pop song.
I asked Karyn why she chose to release this single ahead of the full length album she’s working on.
“The motivation for releasing the song ahead of the full LP was simple: Fans who have seen us play it live are constantly asking when we are going to put it out. People are really drawn to it, from music heads to moms. I wanted to give my fans something new to enjoy until the LP comes out. It was written by my co-producer and keyboard player Matt Berkeley, and I’ve always been honored to sing it.”
There is also a pre-order on iTunes with two-minute samples of every track on the 13-song album. At first blush the album continues the honey-drenched laid back bluesy folk sound that is her trademark sound.
Pieta’s first album on Red House Records, One and All, marked the re-entry of the label back into vinyl records, and although the e-mail sent out today doesn’t specifically mention Mercury vinyl, I know the label is supporting more releases in the future, so it stands to reason that this album will be too.
When it comes to HipHop I tend to favor the musical pastiche typically purveyed by the Bay Area. Some of this is because I really cut my HipHop teeth on the seminal Bay Area label artists on Solesides (later Quannum) including Lateef, Lyrics Born, DJ Shadow, Blackalicious. In some respects California HipHop is considered a second generation from the early New York days of HipHop and rap, but it might be this distance that makes California HipHop more of a converged sound with funk. Of course these days, Left- and Right-coast isn’t so much a discernible distinction. These days there are still stylistic differences between, say Jay-Z and Snoop but beyond that there has been a lot of cross-pollination so it is difficult to make the same comment about today’s HipHop and rap.
Still, the last releases from Lyrics Born, The Gift of Gab, Blackalicious and DJ Shadow really show a very wide view of their art and I think shows them pushing the boundaries of what defines HipHop.
It’s this cultural and musical diversity in the Bay Area that fosters artists like singer Karyn Paige who, after several years of working and performing with various bands and musicians including the Jazz Mafia collective as well as Lyrics Born (who also worked with the Jazz Mafia Orchestra “Brass Bows and Beats) and Chali 2na (of Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli), is ready to release her first solo record titled Hola Mademoiselle which will come out fall of this year. Prior to that she will release a digital EP this summer titled The KP EP.
The releases promise to be a “diverse blend of pop, R&B, New Wave, Soul and Funk” and this is certainly delivered in the first single being offered as a free download titled “Want To.” “Want To” was co-writted and produced by Joe Bagale and Matt Berkeley of the Jazz Mafia with Karyn and to me really recalls the purple funk heyday during Prince‘s reign in Minneapolis– the funky analog synths and beats that were the signature of Mr. Rogers Nelson and the production duo of Jam and Lewis. It is a super-catchy track and has already made it to two of my car mp3 mixes! I can’t wait to hear the EP and album when they come out!
Do yourself a favor and grab this mp3.
Click Here to listen to “Want To” by Karyn Paige from her upcoming release Hola Mademoiselle.
Click Here to visit Karyn Paige’s website and sign up for her mailing list
Click Here to visit Karyn Paige’s Facebook Fanpage
This week had the ‘Net a flutter with news of Ryan Adams’s re-launching his website and re-launching his Pax Americana (PaxAm) record label with a downloadable “Digital Single.” Pre-orders went up mid-week with a promise of the songs shipping on Friday, September 11th.
What you got for $1.49 was a .zip file with the advertised two songs “Lost and Found” and “Go Ahead and Rain” (which is mislabeled “Sunflower Rain”) in both FLAC (YAY!) and 128Kbps mp3’s plus a so-called “Free Jam” of the demo to the Cardinology song “Sink Ships” in 160Kbps mp3 format. Plus “cover art” (shown above) and what appears to be considered the label art.
“Lost and Found” is an official release of what had surfaced in November 2006 along with 11 albums of other unreleased songs under a bunch of pseudonyms including DJ Reggie, The Shit, WereWolph, Warren Peace, Rhoda Ro, Ghetto Birds and Sad Dracula. Most of the albums seemed like Ryan recording every possible inspiration– listenable or not. However, the most compelling of these releases seemed to fall under Sad Dracula and Warren Peace. “Lost and Found” was a song on Fasterpiece. The version released as part of this single doesn’t seem very much different from that track which would lead me to believe that this song was actually recorded for release.
According to threads on the ryanadamsarchive.com boards “Go Ahead and Rain” surfaced as a demo and video a while back. Ryan (posting as Wolfhunter) said that he had recorded four versions of “Go Ahead and Rain” including one which was considered for the Cardinology album. He says that Jamie (Candiloro?) plays drums on this take. Jamie Candiloro worked on the hotly-debated Rock N Roll album. He says that “Johnny T. (Yerington) played drums on ‘Oblivion’ and I played drums on the rest. ” Oblivion” is a track on Fasterpiece as well. So, probably we will see some kind of Sad Dracula release in the near future!
Ryan also says this:
Thanks for supporting Pax-Am. Though I know many of you have lot’s of tracks from over the years many don’t. The glitches and kinks are being figured out and soon enough it will be time for some bigger projects. Also with new work there will be a whole new slab of folks trying to tear down the whole thing but, fuck em- this is gonna be great, I am excited for all this shit yall never heard to come around AND I am happy to get some really badass stuff out there once and for all.
The plans for Pax-Am at the moment is to continue to release some of these “lost” albums and songs in digital and vinyl formats! There will also be other things for purchase like t-shirts. I think if any artist can make a go of this, it would be Ryan as he has the right formula– a rabid fanbase who will purchase just about anything and the fact that he’s very prolific would provide a lot of material to choose from.
I became a fan of Ryan’s because of Rock N Roll and the two Love is Hell EP’s. Rock N Roll was very much a departure from the Americana-leanings of his other releases and really the one that my wife prefers out of his catalog. I hadn’t really gotten into the three Cardinals releases from 2006 until I heard about the eleven albums he posted to his site. I found a suitable bit torrent from someone who snagged the tracks and made mp3’s of them. When I heard the Sad Dracula tracks, I was hooked– where had these songs been? These were more songs in the vein of Rock N Roll. Was this the Rock N Roll 2 that was rumored? Certainly based on what Ryan said on the board, these were the same session players.
Both tracks are of the same kind of guitar rock established on Rock N Roll. Kind of the slighty ramshackle, slightly unpolished guitar pop established by bands like The Replacements and their predecessor Big Star. I welcome more of these releases for sure!
I guess I prefer this approach of pumping stuff out on a number of releases– digital or vinyl rather than going the Neil Young Archives approach. Well, for a number of reasons– I would hate to wait 20 years for a compilation to come out of this stuff for one thing. But, also not making this a $300 purchase by releasing this a decade at a time makes it easier to budget.