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Folk songstress Mary-Elaine Jenkins releases two singles from upcoming debut LP

The first time I heard Mary-Elaine Jenkins was at a Janis Joplin tribute show at The Way Station in Brooklyn. It was a small venue, an intimate atmosphere, and she had come alone with her guitar. When she took the stage, I felt like I knew her somehow, like she had always been a friend. A New Yorker for over five years now, Mary-Elaine is a 13th-generation South Carolinian, so it makes sense that her modest southern charm would so easily make the audience immediately comfortable with her. And then she started singing. 

Jenkins' voice is a mix of cloves, sage, ash, thorns, and honey. The music sets the mood of a sunrise on a brisk fall morning, wrapping a blanket around yourself in your pajamas and eating biscuits on a wooden rocking chair on a white front porch, only rolling hills in view for miles. Reminiscent of Jolie Holland, Lady Lamb, and yes, a piece of Janis Joplin, her lyrics and vocal style seem timeless and raw. 

Jenkins' music is the opposite of frenetic. She knows how to sink into a slow blues groove and lives there like it's the new pace of your life now, an especially powerful feat in our bustling metropolis. And yet it feels easy to sink down with her into a hammock you never want to climb out of. 

Recording at Good Child Music Studios, Jenkins collaborated with producer / engineer Thom Beemer, along with musicians Cat Popper (Ryan Adams), Lawson White (My Brightest Diamond, Tony Trischka), JJ Appleton, and Dave Hassell, to make an album as well traveled as it is rooted in the musical traditions of the Southern east coast.

Singles Fools Don’t Stay and The Rooster release today on Good Child Music and we are proud to premiere them below. They will be included in a debut LP scheduled for later in the year. You can catch Mary-Elaine Jenkins with band live at The Bitter End on Friday, June 22. - Meghan Rose, photo by Paul Storey.

Grapetooth "Violent"

Grapetooth, Clay Frankel (Twin Peaks) and Chris Bailoni (Homesick), have released their second single “Violent”. The duo released their debut single, “Trouble”, last fall to critical acclaim, and this poppy, ’80’s New Order-esque follow-up does not disappoint.

You can catch Grapetooth at Lincoln Hall on July 21st with Rookie and James Swanberg. Tickets for this show go on sale Friday, May 25th.

New Track: "On Self Respect" - Nika Nika

Sparse acoustic guitar accompanies earnest lyricism “On Self Respect,” the new single from Anika Pyle, a.k.a. Nika Nika. An older ditty that was written "after watching one of the greatest films of all time - Flashdance - and connecting the film to Joan Didion's essay 'On Self Respect,'" an honest self-evaluation speaks to the idea of following ones dream's and aspirations, while navigating the perceptions or judgments of the outside world. Balancing one’s goal against the weight/pressure of the outside world can be a tricky endeavor. Be true to yourself.

"To give us back to ourselves--there lies the great, the singular power of self-respect" - Joan Didion

Rue Brown, Sirintip, and Camille Trust play “The Revolution,” Vol. 27 on 05/26

In the 27th installment of the Deli-sponsored “The Revolution”, a performance series featuring promising local artists, three female pop and soul singers will take the stage to showcase their unique sound. For this month's installation, the selected artists are Rue Brown, a soul singer with intriguing tracks blending electro and jazz, as well as avant-pop artist Sirintip, and Camille Trust, a singer-songwriter with a passionate, emotionally-driven pop sound. See them all this Saturday 05.26 at National Sawdust, at 10:00 PM - check out the three artists in the playlist streaming below. - Lily Crandall

Samia drops video for new single "21"; plays Elsewhere on 06.01

With a vocal range that reaches as high as her dreams and as low as the darkest depths of her lyrics, Samia has released her latest single "21" courtesy of Grand Jury. Though she had a brush with Spotify fame last year after the company put her on their "Badass Women" playlist, she hasn't let the excitement get to her head. She packs her new single with her mellifluous vocals and most raw lyrics about turning twenty-one; topics discussed include making family proud, self-image, and the push to succeed against the drag of adulthood. Hear that in the chorus phrase "You're alive and you're on fire/Why are you so tired?" In the video, Samia dances around in any empty loft, scrawls desires on the walls, and stares out the window, looking for the thing that she feels she should have achieved before her twenty-first birthday. It's safe to say that she's achieved quite a bit already. Samia will play Elsewhere's Zone 1 on June 1st; until then, check out the video for "21" below. - Will Sisskind


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