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Release Roundup: April 2022

Written by on May 2, 2022

April showered us with new music. Stream some releases Team Vocalo added to our music libraries last month!

In order of release, check out four new albums and a single we loved this April…

billy woods – Aethiopes

NY-based abstract hip-hop artist billy woods has had a decade-long streak of quality albums — and Aethiopes is another win. The tracks are haunting, oppressive and atmospheric in the best way possible. woods’ complex lyrics draw on history, generational trauma and the anxiety of modern life in a police state.  Musically, woods conjures up frenetic instrumental collages so chaotic, only a seasoned lyricist like himself could rap over them. Features like ghostly bells on “Wharves” and frenzied piano stabs on “Haarlem” give each track its own distinct character. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. woods dials back the spookiness to make room for other thoughtful wordsmiths like Quelle Chris, Boldy James and El-P. It’s definitely not the most approachable hip-hop album of the year, but if you’re looking for something out of the box, this is your best bet.

– George Chiligiris, digital production intern

Omar Apollo – Ivory

Omar Apollo’s new 16-track album just barely feels long enough! It leaves me on the edge of my seat for his next release. The genre-bending, bilingual project is anything but dull, ranging from upbeat dance tracks, like “No Good Reason” and “Tamagotchi,” to slower songs that get you in your feels, like “Invincible,” featuring Daniel Caesar, and “Mr. Neighbor.” Omar Apollo set the bar high with a debut as impressive and valuable as Ivory.

– Milo Keranen, digital engagement intern

Syd – Broken Hearts Club

Syd released Broken Hearts Club a few weeks back, and I’ve had it on repeat ever since. How do I begin to express the infinite depths their voice and musicality reach in my soul? For utter R&B perfection that hits, I couldn’t recommend this album more. Its love songs have such range, from beats that get your shoulders immediately groovin’ to sick guitar shreds. All the while, Syd’s soothing soprano connects us to our most romantic heart’s center with lyrics that inspire you to call your crush with the utmost confidence. This album is chock-full of love songs that take you somewhere.

– Ari Mejia, audio and community storytelling producer

Lizzo – “About Damn Time”

Okay, let’s be honest… we needed some new Lizzo before the summer starts, and the appropriately-named “About Damn Time” fills that void. Danceable and positive, “About Damn Time” is about healing from and reflecting on past stresses and anxieties. It’s hard not to love a sparkly feel-good anthem, and this song has been stuck in my head since it came out. The music video is so joyful and colorful — not even to mention the flute solo! If you need to take a second of escape from the stresses of the mundane, make sure to listen ASAP.

– Morgan Ciocca, digital media producer and editor of “The Goods”

Kehlani – blue water road

I’m low-key, but high-key, an R&B junkie. California native Kehlani, who’s also known as an R&B princess, returned with her new album blue water road, executively produced by Andrew Wansel, with 13 tracks and features from Justin Bieber, Jessie Reyez, Thundercat, Syd, Blxst and more. For her latest album, Kehlani lays it all on the line and states, “I’m giving everyone access. It’s an emotional journey, a sexual journey, and a spiritual journey. To me, the album is like a glasshouse. It’s light, transparent, and the sun is shining right through it.”

– Bekoe, producer and on-air host of “Mornings With Bekoe” and “The Windy City Hour”

Edited for length and clarity and introduction written by Morgan Ciocca

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