Victor Scott

By all accounts Victor Scott shouldn’t be aspiring to what he aspires to — rhythmless porn-funk on “Gotta Go,” hybrid-power balladeering on “Mareel,” couch-surfer-rock on “Golf,” lounge-hop on “Airstream” — but he does. And it works very well. Fans of the eminent Honky King Calvin Johnson will see in Scott the same irresistibly affectless soul. Fans of Quentin Tarantino and David Lynch soundtracks will see in Scott a torch singer who croons charming oddities as if they were ageless standards. Victor’s a different chap, that’s for sure, but once you catch on to his wavelength, you’ll want to ride his current all the way to the shore.

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Big Strides

The agressively jazzy feel of Soul Coughing? The vocal dexterity of Sublime? The funkiness of really old Chili Peppers? I’m not sure what I’m digging so much about the sound from the British trio Big Strides, or even if my fascination will last past the first snowfall here in Michigan. For now though, these boys have the bump I’m looking for. Check out “Strangely Inclined” to see if you are as the title suggests.

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Lewis Taylor

Apologies in advance: Today’s post may be yesterday’s news and I may just be late to the Lewis Taylor party. Sorry, it’s just a bit of a shock to find something so great that I overlooked for so long. But enough about this blogger’s insecurities. Lewis Taylor is a British soul singer/multi-instrumentalist with a voice like warm butterscotch and an ear for music like no soul you’ve ever heard. Before you conjure images of Joss Stone or Jamiroquai, rest assured that Lewis Taylor is for real – he’s not simply playing his parents’ vinyl collection, he’s taking soul to places it hasn’t been before. But, it doesn’t hurt that he hits with velvet gloves like Marvin Gaye and arranges with the kaleidoscope mind of Prince. (He also goes his own way under the radar like the inimitable Joe Henry – not a soul man, but a darn fine musician you should seek out.) As you browse through these highlights, you’ll hear some guitar and crooning that could be Ben Harper on a rainy day, some space-jazz this side of Miles Davis fusion, and even a few moments that are more electronically out there (Radiohead’s name pops up often in other people’s Taylor descriptions, and Kruder + Dorfmeister offer a remix here). Or, you’ll hear all of the above in the same track. And, if you haven’t already fallen, you’ll love it all.

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