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Release Roundup: February 2022

Written by on March 1, 2022

Although it was a short month, February had its fair share of great releases.

Team Vocalo shares their favorite new music from February, including a couple of full-length albums, an EP and a single. Circle back every month to keep your playlists fresh with new music!

Saba – Few Good Things

One album I have on repeat is Chicago West Side native Saba’s Few Good Things, an album I would consider to be nominated for best rap album — definitely locally, if not globally. Saba has an exceptional pen game, way with words and charisma that continue to elevate his passion for producing music that’s therapeutic not only for himself, but listeners who understand his story and everyday life. Few Good Things has more then a few good songs attached, such as “One Way,” “Survivors Guilt,” featuring Chicago’s own G Herbo; “Come My Way,” featuring Krayzie Bone (who’s part of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, a huge music influence to Saba’s career) and “Solider,” which includes Pivot Gang. I can’t forget to mention “Still,” which features 6lack and Smino… and we all know if Saba and Smino are on a track together, we’re in for a treat.

– Bekoe

Khruangbin & Leon Bridges – Texas Moon EP

“Doris,” a track from Khruangbin & Leon Bridges’ Texas Moon, is both a tribute to a graceful elder and a haunting hazy fever dream. It’s a fitting entry point to a curious mix of country and western, juke joint R&B, 13th Floor Elevators-level psychedelia and even the well-placed strains of vintage Afrobeat of “B-Side,” and a perfect follow up to the adventurous sound the collective has explored since 2020’s Texas Sun. Donald Johnson, Jr.’s laid-back, soulful drums, Laura Lee’s slinky yet mathematical bass and Mark Speer’s psychedelic guitar consistently bring out the best of fellow Texan Leon Bridges. It’s a collective that’s a match made in heaven, or perhaps Houston.

– Ayana Contreras

Silk Sonic – “Love’s Train”

Silk Sonic rolled out a stunning cover of Con Funk Shun’s 1982 single “Love’s Train” on Feb. 14 as a surprise Valentine’s Day gift to their listeners. The original track is a slowed-down ‘80s funk ballad, which, according to a 2017 interview with bandleader Michael Cooper, was written when he and a bandmate fell in love with the same woman. Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak say it’s one of their favorite songs, replacing ‘80s keyboards with their signature starry-eyed, ’70s soul-inspired sound in their cover. With clear roots in the original, the duo give it a spin distinctly their own — and, as per usual, it’s as smooth as satin.

– Morgan Ciocca

Earthgang – GHETTO GODS

Atlanta rap duo Earthgang snuck this one in right at the end of the month and it’s every bit as fun and eccentric as their previous material, with a fresh hit of poignancy and realness that keeps you thinking even after the album is over. What I really love about this album is there’s something here for whatever vibe you’re feeling. If you want something to dance to you can throw on the title track or “BILLI.” If you want top notch lyricism, “AMERICAN HORROR STORY” is an unflinching example of the group’s ability to speak on real issues. Earthgang transitions between all of these vibes seamlessly and it makes the album unpredictable in an exciting way. Definitely not one to sleep on.

– George Chiligiris

Dreamer Isioma- Goodnight Dreamer

This month brought us Dreamer Isioma’s debut album Goodnight Dreamer — and it’s everything I was hoping for and more. Weaving between Dreamer’s waking life and dreams, the 13-track project explores genres including ’50s rock, Afrobeats, ’70s funk, pop-R&B and electronic. Lead-up track “StayUp!” sets the album’s surreal tone, focusing on dream manifestation over a psychedelic Afrobeat mix. Dreamer urges listeners not to sleep on their dreams, but to chase them in waking life. My favorite track “HUH?” taps into Dreamer’s retro, funky side of their journey as they unapologetically embrace their truest self. This genre-bending album is dreamy and refreshing, just in time for spring.

– Milo Keranen

Introduction written by Milo Keranen

Edited by Morgan Ciocca

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