Friday Five: Ma Baker, Chris DuPont, Mike Dos, Nick Melody, Prol'e
Friday Five is where we highlight music by Washtenaw County-associated artists.
This week features jams courtesy Ma Baker, Americana from Chris DuPont, R&B hip-hop by Mike Dos, indie rock from Nick Melody, and hip-hop from Prol'e.
Ma Baker, Octoquarius
Ann Arbor jam band Ma Baker had tough timing with their first studio recording: the single "Cherry Feather Song" came out about two weeks after the pandemic shut everything down last year. But the quintet is probably best served in a live setting anyway since it gives the musicians space to stretch out, which they do on Octoquarius, recorded live at the Blind Pig on February 8, 2020. The band also released an accompanying collection of cover songs from the gig, including Pink Floyd's "Run Like Hell," Little Feat's "Skin It Back," and Bag Raiders' "Shooting Stars."
Chris DuPont, Floodplains
We've previously featured the early Floodplains singles "Start Again" featuring Rin Tarsy, "Sandpaper Hymn," and "Retrieve," but now the whole album is out and listeners can bask in all 12 songs of lush, orchestral-leaning folk-pop by Ypsi artist Chris Dupont. (It's also available on CD via Bandcamp.)
Mike Dos, If This Ain't Love
Ypsi producer, rapper, and vocalist Mike Dos walks the line between R&B and hip-hop on this six-song mini-album, which is as accomplished as it is romantic (very).
Nick Melody, Joyful Fantasy
Ypsilanti's Nick Melody did everything on his second album Joyful Fantasy—just as he did on his self-titled debut from April 2020. And I mean everything: he played all the instruments, recorded everything himself, and even made the cover art. Melody's music evokes the golden era of 1980s college rock where musicians were inspired by the jingle-jangle tunefulness of '60s psych-pop but put their own post-punk spin on things. Joyful Fantasy should have been plural, though, because all nine songs live up to the title's promise. (It's also available on black or red vinyl via Bandcamp.)
Prol'e, Take the Lead, Volume 3
The third compilation by Ypsilanti rapper-singer Prol'e features tunes produced by Cashdrug, who also did the music on Volume 2, but he also credits "various youtube producers," which is a solid DIY move. Over the course of 10 songs, Prol'e's voice and raps are covered in a healthy amount of artful Autotune.
Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.
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