For the better part of a decade, Chicago native Nola Adé has released standout music, including her 2016 debut EP, The Love Dance, and a smattering of well-received singles on which she wrapped her luxurious voice around popping, radio-ready Afro-soul production. (Gossip Wolf remains especially partial to her track “Make Move,” a booming love song that somehow didn’t immediately become a worldwide dance floor smash when it dropped in 2021.) On Friday, April 14, the Nigerian American singer will finally put out her long-awaited second EP, Royal; last week she released the single and video for the EP’s title track, an anthemic ode to affirmation and self-love that seems destined to bring her to a vastly wider audience.
In his 2021 piece about the Jefferson Park EXP concert series and netlabel Pan Y Rosas Discos, the Reader’s Noah Berlatsky described the music of noise artist Helena Ford as “sometimes crystalline and lovely, sometimes hammering and painful, evoking a process that seems to go on forever.” Since then, Ford has remained so dizzyingly productive that her Bandcamp page is among this wolf’s most refreshed websites; she seems to update it with choice new music every few days. This month alone, Ford has dropped three distinct albums that reckon with a breathtaking array of moods and tonalities: Improvisation for Hardware, which sounds like being inside an ancient and slowly dying clock; Music for Installations, which Ford describes as “an aleatoric thought exercise; recorded for an imagined art exhibit;” and I’m Barely Here, “written for our fallen brothers, sisters, and every other victim of institutionalized violence on the basis of their gender / gender expression.” Ford, herself a trans musician, will donate all proceeds from I’m Barely Here to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute and the Transgender, Gender-Variant, & Intersex Justice Project, aka TGI Justice.
In November, west-side rapper Philmore Greene dropped his full-length collaboration with celebrated Detroit producer Apollo Brown, Cost of Living; it’s one of Gossip Wolf’s favorite local hip-hop releases of 2022. On Saturday, March 18, the duo belatedly celebrates the album by performing it in its entirety at Bourbon on Division. Veteran NYC rapper Skyzoo headlines; Rashid Hadee, IAmGawd, and Anereaus Haley also perform. Tickets are $30; doors open at 8 PM.
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