Listen to the latest releases from local artists. In this week’s edition: PunksInVegas and SquidHat Records drop a free compilation in honor of Punk Rock Bowling, rapper/producer KVNXX gives us his NU/X Gospel and Shamir gets “Darker.” But first …
Life Is Beautiful is teaming up with First Friday to give two local bands the opportunity to play the festival this September. Musicians will duke it out in battle-of-the-bands fashion during “Music is Beautiful” on June 5 (First Friday). DTLV has the full details here. Note: Submit your shit to firstname.lastname@example.org by end of day Friday, May 22. Good luck!
Locals Only! A Las Vegas Punk Rock Bowling Compilation [Free download]
With the annual Punk Rock Bowling Music Festival coming up this weekend, PunksInVegas and SquidHat Records join forces for Locals Only! A Las Vegas Punk Rock Bowling Compilation. The free release features 12 tracks from six Squidhat bands including “redemption pop” trio Mercy Music, country punk outfit Eliza Battle, skatepunk quintet Sounds of Threat and more. Stream/download the sampler below, then get your full serving live at Punk Rock Bowling. PunksInVegas has the schedule of when and where you can see the SquidHat bands perform here.
KVNXX – NU/X Gospel: Creature of Creation EP [Free download]
Rapper/producer KVNXX seems to have come out of nowhere. I got a press release a few weeks ago that I almost ignored because it stated that KVNXX is pronounced “Kane.” As a dude born with a really weird name that I have to spell out at least three times before people get it, I’m quick to dismiss anyone who intentionally makes their name difficult. Anyway … NU/X Gospel opens with conservative talk radio host Paul Harvey’s 1964 “If I Were the Devil” speech about the decline of American morality. What follows are seven songs about the artist’s own struggles with sin and faith. He know I’d die to be rich / I’m like a slave to this shit he raps on the rumbling “Psalm 73.” KVNXX’s venting of demons isn’t just lyrical—he seems to have exorcised some on the production, as well. He takes some strong cues from comtemporary Kanye and Travis Scott. Dark, dynamic and fiery beats pulse throughout NU/X Gospel, with some screwed-up vocals and haunting choral samples. Sure, more than just the aforementioned artists’ production styles echo on the project, but NU/X Gospel is a bold attempt to break the Vegas rap monotony.
Shamir – “Darker” [Video]
Shamir’s debut album, Ratchet, dropped today. And, in case you were too busy geeking over Kendrick Lamar and Stevie Wonder, you might have noticed that the local (and quickly becoming an international) star will also be playing Life Is Beautiful (see the full lineup here) in September. If his previous bouncy dance-house joints weren’t enough to entice you, maybe this complete 180 will. Filmed in the desert, the video reflects the title, swapping his usual vibrancy for dusky, dry landscapes. The song itself uplifts with its refraint: It doesn’t get darker, unless you expect it to. Paired together, it’s a spiritual experience.