Friday Five: Raw Honey, Nadim Azzam, Atlas the Kid, Canada, Alison Albrecht
Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.
This week features indie rock from Raw Honey, hip-hop soul by Nadim Azzam, rap by Atlas the Kid, folk-rock by Canada, and a performance by singer-songwriter Alison Albrecht.
Raw Honey, "Radio Tower Blues," "Time to Burn," "Attic Stairs" video, "Concrete Bridges" video, "Holy Year" video
When Maggie Hopp sings, "My heartbeat is a radio / I'm wondering if you will catch my signal?" on the recent Raw Honey single "Radio Tower Blues," I have to assume this Ypsilanti-based singer-songwriter is talking about the fact that I've missed a couple of her new songs and all the music videos she put out in 2021. Sorry, my antennae's been broken. I did not, however, miss out on writing about her excellent debut album, Riverbed, which came out in May and whose emotional ache comes through loud and clear. The "Attic Stairs," "Concrete Bridges," and "Holy Year" videos are all to support singles from Riverbed, but August's "Radio Tower Blues" and October's "Time to Burn" are new songs, both of which straddle atmospheric-guitar folk and indie rock.
Nadim Azzam, "The Debt"
"The Debt" is Ann Arbor singer-songwriter-rapper Nadim Azzam's latest song marrying of folk, soul, R&B, and hip-hop—and he's really, really good at it.
Atlas the Kid, "Rain" and "Talk"
Though he's in his late 20s, Ann Arbor rapper Atlas the Kid only started releasing his music this year. The six songs he's put out in 2021 are all really accomplished, too, which means he's been able to imbue his tunes with the sort of artistic maturity that most musicians take years to develop.
Canada, Put Singing Birds Into Your Messy Hair
In 2005, the debut EP by Ann Arbor's Canada launched the local label Quite Scientific. The folk-rock band managed to release one full-length LP before breaking up, but the ensemble actually recorded a second album. Now, 16 years after their label debut, that long-lost LP, Put Singing Birds Into Your Messy Hair, is finally seeing the light on Quite Scientific.
Alison Albrecht, "I Say, Right Thing Wrong Time"
Empty Mug Records is a student-run record label associated with the University of Michigan, and over the past few years it has ventured out into making performance videos featuring peers at U-M. Alison Albrecht has a big voice and the Empty Mug crew captured it perfectly on the banks of the Huron.
Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.