From her distinctive voice, to a vast array of influences, and even her signature dreadlocks there's little about Valerie June that doesn't garner intrigue. From Memphis, Tennessee, June squashes expectations and dismisses genre labels with the release of her first full-length album, Pushin' Against A Stone. June has been working at her craft for some years now, self-releasing 3 EPs and lining up fans that range from Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys to producer/songwriter/musician Richard Swift and even a soul legend like Booker T. Jones. All of these men lend a helping hand on Valerie's debut, which is sure to only broaden her fan base.
There is a breeziness, a coolness and an ease that casts itself over this collection.
Much is made of the evolution of Sam Beam and his musical endeavors as Iron & Wine. A career that started over a decade ago as a delicate solo songwriter, Beam has matured into a band leader with robust artistic vision.
2013 is shaping up to be a great year for Philadelphia and the musicians who craft the soundtrack for the city. One early indicator is the new album from Philly singer-songwriter Birdie Busch and her band The Greatest Night. Birdie’s fourth full-length album further embraces her charming storytelling, but amidst a sonic backdrop that is all at once more confident and dynamic.
January 7, 2013 - London's new soul sensation is twenty-two year old, songstress, Lianne La Havas. She blends soul, jazz and folk in her new album, released in the U.S. on August 7, "Is Your Love Big Enough?" La Havas has been nominated for BBC's Sound of 2012, along with another XPN favorite, Michaeal Kiwanuka and her performance of "Age" on the cult video site Black Cab Sessions created a nice buzz online."