Oh, hey, it’s been a minute—or 481,801, to be exact. Doing another “Hear Now” local music roundup has been on my to-do list for, uh, 11 months. Obviously, I’ve missed some really awesome projects (like that Sabriel EP), but I’m back on it. And it just so happens that a lot of the artists who’ve appeared in this column a year ago have dropped some new material. Scroll down and check out new music videos and releases from The Lique, Almost Normal, Marion Write and more.
The Lique – “Billie’s Holiday” [Video]
My favorite cut off of The Lique’s debut, Democracy Manifest (fun fact: this video is what inspired the album title), gets the visual treatment. An ode to Lady Day, emcee Rasar packs the jazzy joint with allusions to the singer as he seeks peace. The video, directed Jeremy Le, who’s known for his incredible action cinematography, complements the lyrics perfectly as it finds a woman on a journey to liberation via The Lique Express (with a detour to 11th Street Records).
Almost Normal – “Young Forever” [Video]
Indie-alternative tag team Almost Normal is back. Singer/guitarist Ashley Lampman and drummer/keyboardist Andrew Zakher lust for youth on “Young Forever,” the first single from their forthcoming EP, slated to be released in January. None of us make it out of here, we’re racing time, Lampman sings over icy, ambient keys and distorted electronic drums. The video, directed by Dalton Campbell, is striking with an undertone of darkness. It finds the duo playing in the desolate desert near dawn, then cuts to shots of them hitting the town, from Fremont Street to the “Seven Magic Mountains” art installation. A trip to a hospital, however, suggests that the night isn’t as magical as it may seem.
Marion Write – 6:50 Demo [Stream/Download]
Marion Write is the heavyweight champion of the Vegas hip-hop scene. He doesn’t flood social media with throwaway tracks and filler mixtapes. Instead he takes a calculated approach, only striking when it’s right. Such is the case with his 6:50 Demo, his first release since 2014’s Black Gold. It may not be an official album—it’s a collection of 12 songs that were released weekly between August 1 and October 17—but each song is a haymaker of streetwise lyricism, whether it’s a party cut (“Drink a Lil”), a hustle anthem (“Daylight Burns”) or a heartfelt dedication to a friend (“Problems”).
Kitze – Talkboys EP [Free Download]
Brett Bolton has an early Christmas gift for you, ya filthy animal. Named after the tape recorder made famous in Home Alone 2, Bolton a.k.a. electro-pop wizard Kitze’s Talkboys EP features five bouncy, robotic jams to shake away the winter blues. It’s name-your-own-price on Bandcamp, which, technically, means it’s free. But if the holiday spirit compels you, shoot a few bucks his way.
Chop808 – “Body Complex” [Stream]
In case you missed it, we recently premiered Chop808’s smooth new cut, “Body Complex,” on VegasSeven.com, along with an article spotlighting the rising emcee. The track is one for your baby-making playlist, though it’s not really sexual. It’s more about chemistry—the 23-year-old emcee just wants to feel your energy, “body to body.” Oh, and the song’s about aliens, too. Read about the song and the artist at VegasSeven.com/Chop808 and stream it below.
Ian Sean ft. Love At First Sound – “Unattainable” [Stream]
Bronx native-turned-Las Vegan Ian Sean is full of slick pimp talk on “Unattainable.” With his smooth delivery and East Coast drawl, he lets it be known that he can pull any chick. He’s not the type to catch feelings, though—”might like your pic, but that’s about it,” he raps. Love At First Sound steps in with the assist, pulling double duty with the falsetto hook and looping a funky sample a la Madlib for the beat.
Voorhees – “Watch Out” [Video]
The self-proclaimed Horror God is back doing what he does best—scaring the shit out of us. “Watch Out,” which appropriately dropped on Halloween, takes a page out of a Wes Craven flick with the masked North Town rapper creeping through a suburban home. In Voorhees fashion, the video isn’t gory, but spooky enough to give you the chills. On a side note, the artist and fellow Las Vegas spitter Rob Falco recently teamed up to become The Black Bag Brothers and dropped a dope EP a couple months ago.
Ekoh – “Just Go” [Video]
“I’m as real as ever,” Ekoh raps toward the end of his new single. Perhaps it should have been a disclaimer, because what precedes it is the kind of truth Kermit sips tea to. From club hoes to “entrepreneurs” to his estranged father, the “heart-hop” emcee gives everyone and everything the work.
Zoneil Maharaj spends a lot of time on the internet as Vegas Seven’s director of digital content. Send him stuff to listen to at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at @zoneil. Find more local music at vegasseven.com/hearnow.