Category Archives: Music

On ‘American Teen,’ alt-R&B’s Khalid makes a case to be a voice of his generation

For his debut album, singer-songwriter Khalid chose the title “American Teen,” which is exactly the kind of thing a precocious, preternaturally gifted 19-year-old would do. The lofty, all-encompassing title suggests that Khalid has teenage life all figured out. And across the album’s 15 tracks, he makes a compelling case to be a voice of his generation, musically and lyrically.

Read more in the Washington Post.

On ‘Heavn,’ Jamila Woods teaches black self-acceptance — and the wide range of R&B

“Black is like the magic, and magic’s like a spell,” sings Jamila Woods, her voice a lilting smirk. That’s the opening lyric on the wobbly “Vry Blk,” a song that embodies all the charms of her debut album, “Heavn,” as she repurposes the playground rhymes of “Mary Mack” and “Miss Susie” into a hymn against police brutality — a disarming tactic that speaks to the young Chicagoan’s songwriting acumen.

Read more in The Washington Post.

At a Kehlani show, the music matters, but it’s not the only thing

“Tonight, you’re at a Kehlani show,” the singer told the sold-out crowd at the Fillmore Silver Spring. “So I’m gonna talk a lot.” Thankfully, the 22-year-old Oakland talent wasn’t all talk on Thursday night as she sang and danced her way through her debut album, “SweetSexySavage,” a pop-R&B jaunt that evokes the melodies and moods of ’90s acts such as TLC and Aaliyah, but with a contemporary edge.

Read more in The Washington Post.

Beth Ditto, embarking on a stomping new solo career, comes to U Street Music Hall

“For nearly two decades, Beth Ditto was the frontwoman for dance-rockers Gossip, commanding audiences with a brash, throaty voice that drew comparisons to Janis Joplin and Tina Turner. But her distinct sound — and the outspoken attitude expected from someone who unapologetically described herself as a “fat, feminist lesbian from Arkansas” — has been relatively quiet since Gossip released their fifth album, “A Joyful Noise,” in 2012.”

Read more in The Washington Post.

Feist’s return to D.C. was well worth the wait

“When Feist told the sold-out crowd at the Lincoln Theatre that “it’s been a while, D.C.,” it wasn’t just because her tours haven’t come through the DMV lately. While it has been five years since she performed in the area, and 10 since she played D.C. proper, her absence hasn’t just been physical: Until the release of “Pleasure” earlier this year, it had been nearly six years since fans had held or heard a new album by Leslie Feist.”

Read more in the Washington Post.

The latest, and strongest, and most soulful JMSN sways into 9:30 Club

“Just because you got a preconceived notion of what I should do,” JMSN sings on his new album “Whatever Makes U Happy,” “don’t mean it’s the truth.” The lyric is a bit of wisdom that JMSN, the Los Angeles-via-Detroit singer-songwriter born Christian Berishaj, has gleaned after more than a decade in the music industry.

Read more in the Washington Post.

The Artful Dissonance of Chino Amobi

“Chino Amobi used to “mess around with music.” When he was in elementary school, the Richmond-based producer and his brother would record songs off the radio, creating “radio shows” with a mix of their own DJ patter and tracks that Amobi wrote on a Casio keyboard. Then, when Amobi was in high school, the brothers started making their own hip-hop: his brother would rap and Chino would make beats on early DAW software. Soon, he figured out how to supplement factory-provided sounds and samples with WAV files from other outlets, like tactical shooter video game Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six.”

Read more at Bandcamp.