Being a born and raised California boy, I am always happy to find bands that represent our state so well. Mystic Roots falls into this description so well, as the Chico, CA natives carry the reggae tradition with respect while putting their own spin on it. The band considers dancehall, Hip-Hop, EDM, pop, and rock as musical influences, and every track has some flavor of these styles sprinkled on the main reggae sound. The smooth grooves and melodies along with positive vibes makes Change a perfect summer album. It’s no secret then why they reached #1 on the Billboard reggae charts with the album.
This band is kind of like No Doubt meets Matisyahu meets 311, hard to explain but they are really worth your time with this release.
Change can be found at major music distributors like iTunes
Dallas-based Valenti Funk creates music that is cross-genre, expressive, and ultimately a reflection of not only him but all of the musicians that he creates with. The tracks on Valenti are a blast of funk (with special nods to George Clinton), reggae, and jazz. Every track is filled with powerful energy that invites you to dance or to chill the hell out. In either case, you can tell that Valenti Funk has honed his craft as a musician and songwriter to the point that it seems effortless (even though some of the lines, both rhythmic and melodic, are quite complex). It is a true pleasure to give this record a listen, I suggest you do the same.
Valenti is available on iTunes
The Baltimore-based group 9 Mile Roots describes their music as “hard rock riffs, hip-hop flow, and thick syncopated horn lines.” This is all on display brilliantly in their upcoming album ReEvolve (releasing May 19). There is plenty of laid-back rock/reggae fusion that hearkens back to groups like 311 and Sublime, and that is the greatest strength of ReEvolve. You can tell that the band is there to have a great time and make catchy songs along the way. 9 Mile Roots play a tight sound, with every instrument never seeming out of place. Especially with Summer fast approaching, this may be a record you want in your collection.
Three Legged Fox is an indie/rock/reggae fusion band from the great city of Philadelphia. Immediately two things stick out as you listen to their newest release Watch the World. Firstly, it is clear that the band (consisting of Kyle Wareham, John Duxbury, Mark Carson, Kory Kochersperger, and Chris Duddy) are all incredibly skilled at their craft. The musicality present throughout this record is such a strong driving force behind why the music is so great. Every melody has meaning and every rhythm rounds out the songs perfectly.
Secondly, Three Legged Fox are naturals at writing relatable and uplifting music. To take music that is a fusion of multiple styles and create something that is great for the radio but also meaningful is a special gift. So much “mainstream” sounding music these days follow a repetitive formula and Three Legged Fox are a refreshing break from that.
The constant switching of styles isn’t jarring, but rather seems like a natural transition in the overall themes explored in Watch the World. In the words of the band:
“After putting out some darker albums it was important to us to make a big sounding album that felt like a celebration of life. These are strange and chaotic times, but there’s a romance in living through that, and we wanted to make something you can dance and sing to.”
That statement really hones in on what you feel as you listen to Watch the World. You feel joy in a really pure way. As a guy who generally is a massive cynic (or some would say “miserable bastard” lol), even I can say that I felt just a little bit happier for the duration of my listening experience. Music’s greatest, well one of its greatest, gifts is the ability to pull you out of your own head.
Watch the World absolutely accomplishes this, and it is a record I highly recommend. Trust me on this one.
Standout track: Ultraviolet
Get your copy of Watch the World at digital stores like iTunes