Nostalgia, Ultra: 5 New Artists Bringing Retro Soul to R&B
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
What’s interesting about Sharon Jones is that she doesn’t consider this band's music to be retro at all, “but we are doing R&B,” she said in an interview. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings also aren't necessarily new to the music scene. The group’s been doing the damn thing since the '90s, but it wasn’t until late 2011 that their vintage sound caught on to the mainstream, nabbing the ears of VH1, and gaining them a feature on the network’s “You Oughta Know” list. Their latest effort "Soul Time!" revives the spirit and feel of 70’s funk and soul. “He Said I Can” is one of its standouts.
Listen to "He Said I Can" here
“Lord, I need good, good lovin,” the British soul singer croons on his song from his "Tell Me A Tale" EP. With a voice as moving as Bill Withers’, it’s almost uncanny how easily Michael Kiwanuka could have been a star in 1971. Instead, he’s making his way in 2012, already winning the year’s BBC Sound of 2012 poll.
Listen to "Tell Me A Tale" here
If you’ve been closely following VIBE, you remember Aloe Blacc’s “You Make Me Smile” video that we shared a few weeks ago. We’ve been checking Aloe ever since he landed the "How To Make It In America" theme song with “I Need A Dollar” (Yup – that was him), so it was only appropriate that we included him here.
Listen to "I Need A Dollar/Life So Hard" here
Graffiti6’s debut album "Colours" boasts vibrant splashes of psychedelic R&B and pop. If you need a comparison, think Gnarls Barkley. No Cee-Lo here, but with lead singer Jamie Scott noting childhood influences such as Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye, you can bet their single “Free” resonates with just as much soul.
Listen to "Free" here
Gary Clark Jr.
The Gary Clark Jr. we’ve come to know since Rolling Stone crowned "Bright Lights" as one of the best albums of 2011 is gritty, earthy and rugged. But “Please Come Home” offers a softer side of the soulful up-and-comer, capturing him in a heartfelt attempt to lure his girl back into his arms. Whether or not he wins back his prized woman is a mystery, but one thing’s for sure: that Motown falsetto would have left Eddie Kendricks proud.
Listen to "Please Come Home" here