Friday Five: Nickie P, Aareus Jones, Modern Lady Fitness, Weekend Hours, Safa Collective
Friday Five is where we highlight music by Washtenaw County-associated artists.
This week features hip-hop from Nickie P and Aareus Jones, indie rock from Modern Lady Fitness and Weekend Hours, and a multigenre compilation by Safa Collective.
Nickie P, The Collective Thought E.P.
I've seen Nickie P rip mics in Ann Arbor-area hip-hop nights, but I didn't realize she was such a great singer, too. The opening song "You Are the One" and the closer "This Place" show off her pipes, but the other three jams on this EP feature Nickie blazing through rhymes. "Old school" is thrown around like salt (-n- pepa) in hip-hop, but Nickie P's pinched and speedy vocal style reminds me of legit old rappers Monie Love and Cookie Crew. Meanwhile, "Ink Drop" has smoky shades of Dessa, a more contemporary comparison who is also a dual singer-rapper. I don't know who did the EP's production, but it's soulful, snappy, and feels sampled-based à la hip-hop in the late '80s through the mid-'90s (or whenever copyright freaks shut down sample culture). Pulp will have an interview with Nickie P about this project soon, but in the meantime, OMG, this EP is so good.
Aareus Jones, "Insomniac" video
Aareus Jones is a core member of the Ypsilanti-founded Keep It G hip-hop collective, but it looks like he's a former Ann Arbor-ite now, living near San Francisco. I'm not sure if Jones or Keep It G producer Dyelow—also a recent California transplant—did the beat for this new single, but it's excellent: a tense, propulsive rhythm that's the perfect bed for Jones' forceful rapping about a guy who might be going loopy from lack of sleep. I think the multitalented Jones is also the person behind the video-production company SoundWave734, which means he made the promo clip below and will need to update his business' area code to 415. I also believe Jones is working on a full-length album, too. A lotta conjecture in this write-up; let us know what's up!
Modern Lady Fitness, "4-H" video
This eerie stop-motion video features clips from Jan Svankmajer's film Alice. It was released to promote "4-H," the second single from the Ypsi indie-rock band's recent EP, IWOWI.
Weekend Hours, "Birthday Girl" and "Michigan Mambo"
Despite haunting the Bandcamp tag for Ann Arbor like the ghost in Amityville, I've missed this A2-Boston duo's catchy blend of new wave—"Birthday Girl" could be in a John Hughes movie—and modern-rock radio—"Michigan Mambo" evokes The Killers and Franz Ferdinand.
Various Artists, Safa Collective Presents: Earth Plus
Ann Arbor's Safa Collective put out the way creepy SpÖoÖoky Steve VS. Toe Reaper split album in October, which was full of industrial-gabber-death-metal-horror-rap, but this new cassette and Bandcamp compilation might be a more pleasant affair. The three tracks released so far include industrial techno (Danger Room), synth-pop (Same Eyes, who we interviewed here), and Soundcloud rap (Geoboys).
Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.
Winter Game 2021: