Sounds of summer 2019

Local music releases for the hotter season

The cover of pop-artist Yayah’s single “Hard Life.”

The cover of pop-artist Yayah’s single “Hard Life.”

Photo courtesy of yayah

When temperatures boil in Sacramento, some artists hit the road while others squeeze in their latest releases. SN&R compiled a list of some new local music to hear and anticipate between now and September.

Amber DeLaRosa (electro-pop)

The Flourish singer dropped a solo single called “Get To Me” on June 28, and the video is making waves with about 18,000 Facebook views as of press time. Heavy ’80s pop chill and DeLaRosa’s pop-star-in-the-making vocals pair well, along with the music video’s aesthetic: dark, retro and neon-lit, like something inspired by Tron, Sia and analog music equipment.

Aye Tee (hip-hop)

“Priorities,” which released July 1, is familiar yet fresh nightclub “shawty” fare, which is perfect coming from the local hip-hop artist Aye Tee, a prolific maker of smooth, Akon-esque nightlife anthems. Check out Aye Tee’s newly released three-song demo, A-Class EP, on Soundcloud.

Kennedy Wrose (hip-hop)

Wrose is putting out an ambitious 16-song LP on July 12, with a kick-off show at the California State Fair on July 13. It’s called Wrose to the Occasion, a continuation of the artist’s theological hip-hop that makes scripture fashionable and accessible, and life’s blessings a central theme.

Lightweight (punk)

If funerals can be a party, Lightweight’s debut album, Spirits Down, is the album you pair with the keg stand. Released on June 21, it’s 11 songs of breathless ’90s punk crunch. Listen to “Heartburn,” and keep your head up to the earnest lyrics and endless guitar chug.

Makebelief (experimental pop)

Confusion Fruit is slated for a summer release, and one-man pop band Schuyler Peterson creates soundscapes that are both erratic and daydreamy. In the song “Begin Again,” low-tempo acoustic guitar, keys, chirps, bells and synths sample through vocals on auto-tune overdrive.

Poor Majesty (hip-hop/rap)

A member of the Sac rap supergroup MyNorities, Poor Majesty dropped his latest album, Dreamer, on June 29, and it’s a master class in soul-searching rap with socially conscious themes. Check out the music video for its single “Broadway,” and watch the story of a postal worker contributing to systemic oppression, narrated by some heavy lyrics such as: “It’s hard to win when your skin is a probable cause.”

Shawn Thwaites Rebel Quartet (hip-hop/jazz)

The Trinidadian steel drum master is planning a collaborative LP with local singer Camilla Covington for September. A March NPR Tiny Desk entry shows promise: A soft beat and beachside steel drum melody lounge to Covington’s soulful R&B singing, calling on you to be “Just be yourself, right? / better for your health, right?”

The Mindful (rock)

Prog-jazz rockers The Mindful release their debut album on July 27. The band raised more than $5,000 via Indiegogo to fund Full Blown Gallery, a collection of songs that are as eclectic as the LP name suggests. At times, it deals in restful country-folk love songs (“Cowboy Pan” and “Minds Made Up”) then dares into electric jazz-funk territory with tunes such as “Startin Somethin” and “Slump.” Wherever it goes, it always sounds life-celebratory. There’s a release show at Momo Lounge (2708 J Street).

Turnbuckle Blues Review (blues/rock ’n’ roll)

TBR’s 10-song LP Backbpack Full of Soul released June 15, a Swiss Army knife of acoustic country, dirty blues and rock that’s fitting for highway drives and the saloon jukebox. Into Dire Straits? Check out “Sleeping Bag Tom,” and enjoy a twangy, talky story about an encounter with a vagrant bar visitor.

Wastewalker (metal)

On May 29, the Sacramento hyper-melodic metal band released a 3-minute instrumental taste of its second album, Lowborn. The cover spells the sound out, showing riot police fending off a mob of demons in a war-torn downtown as a giant obelisk juts out of the skyline. The demo is an apocalypse of blistering guitar harmonies and blast beats that only ever takes a breath to offer more foreboding riffs. Lowborn releases July 23.

Yayah (electro-pop)

If Depeche Mode and New Order are your jam, local drag queen Yayah is releasing a single titled “Hard Life” that’ll satisfy an inkling for somber notes and punchy ’80s beats. And like those bands, the introspective lyrics (“Take a look around you and tell me what you see / All of these people in pain and misery”) are made addictively upbeat by thick bass notes and eerily uplifting synth melodies. The EP drops Aug. 2.