True live music is still a rarity these days. With our current predicament entering into its second year, live venues, be they theaters, restaurants, amphitheaters, or coffee shops - are still mostly shuttered on some level. So new live albums have a unique place in the musical landscape at present, reminding us all at once what was and what will be (Lord willing) again.
And what better band than NEEDTOBREATHE to lead the way? These southern rockers have been one of rock and roll's premier live acts for more than a decade now, and with a new album's (last year's fantastic Out Of Body) worth of songs to play...
We are seeing a resurgence of hymns in the church today. While the exact definition of a hymn is up for debate (and no, it doesn't simply mean an old church song), bands like Sovereign Grace and CityAlight are proving that this battle-worn vessel, which has been the go-to in the church since nigh its existence, can more then survive the modern age of backing tracks and mile-long bridges.
Enter Middle River Hymnal, formed by worship-leading duo Josh Diaz and Laura Creel, who recorded their spin on five classic hymns for their church in Fort Lauderdale during last year’s social distancing. Providentially, the hymns patterned nicely into a playlist for this year's “Holy Week"...
After nearly two years since full-length album number four, The Search, rapper NF returns with a mixtape of nine new tracks and previously dropped song “Paid My Dues.” The pre-release singles, “Clouds” and “Lost,” were accompanied by his typically evocative videos, causing some to question how much of a traditional “mixtape” Clouds would be. Was it simply marketing semantics, or was this just a hard-working artist swimming in songs, eager to give fans something to enjoy as they anticipate the next full-length?
According to Nate himself, it's the latter as he addresses this question head-on within the first minute of the opener and title track "Clouds," stating, "Calmly, feel myself evolving/Appalling, so much I'm not divulging/Been stalling, I think I hear applauding/they're calling, mixtapes aren’t my thing/but it’s been awfully exhausting/hanging into songs this long is daunting.” In fact, if Clouds has a loose thesis, it could easily be NF addressing the sharp assessment of critics, by providing a sampler platter of what he can do...
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