Friday Five: Kaleigh Wilder, Ki5, Hannah Baiardi, Emily Roll, Fred Thomas/Idle Ray
Friday Five is where we highlight music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.
This week features free jazz from Kaleigh Wilder, pop by Ki5, jazz-pop courtesy Hannah Baiardi, spoken word by Emily Roll, and indie-rock from Fred Thomas/Idle Ray.
Kaleigh Wilder, Live at Trixie's
Detroit-based baritone saxophonist Kaleigh Wilder, who earned her masters degree in improvisation from University of Michigan, is captured here with Dave Hurley, Karen Tomalis, and Tristan Cappel playing Hamtramck's Trixie Bar at a Fire Music Mondays event. This 47-minute set of free improv was released on Ann Arbor's 1473 label.
Ki5, "Made of Stars"
Ann Arbor native Ki5 started making a joyful noise in the local music scene by live-looping his voice and building up one-man a capella-like songs. But "Made of Stars" is a straight-up, super-catchy pop song like something you'd hear on annarbor's 107.1-FM. I think it's the tune he was talking about at the end of this Pulp interview in November 2020.
Hannah Baiardi, Straight From the Soul
Ann Arbor jazz pianist, vocalist, composer, and arranger Hannah Baiardi has been active the past year despite the pandemic. Not only has been hosting Hannah's Corner, a YouTube show where she interviews fellow musicians and industry folks, Baiardi recorded her debut album, which is out now. There's a strong Sade vibe on Straight From the Soul, and I imagine there's a Norah Jones influence in there because of the way Baiardi deftly straddles jazz and pop.
Emily Roll, Tip Over, Glass and People Come and Go
Blending spoken-word poetry and noise, Emily Roll's recordings are intense and personal. I find Roll's delivery haunting and their prose incisive but be prepared for all your feelings to burst to the surface. Tip Over, Glass is the Ypsi artist's new album; People Come and Go came out on the Life Like label last fall but just went up on Bandcamp.
Fred Thomas, "I Was a Singer"
Idle Ray, "Last Show"
Ypsilanti's Fred Thomas contributed the gently rocking "I Was a Singer" to a comp album supporting trans people and also released the folky "Last Show" under his Idle Ray guise. They feel like sibling songs in that they both ponder existence in their own ways: "Singer" does it with a humorous edge and "Last Show" shades toward the melancholy. Both songs are fantastic. Thomas was also interviewed by Kenneth Masloski of No Thank You Recordings, which you can listen to below or read the transcript here.
Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.
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