It’s Friday, which means it’s time for Spark’s music expert and iconic L.A. radio DJ Nic Harcourt to weigh in on what new music he’s got on repeat at the moment.
Marina Abad is probably best known for her work as the front-woman of the Spanish flamenco/hip-hop fusion group Ojos de Brujo. Since the band called it quits in 2013, she embarked on a solo career, added an h to her name, and added some pop tricks to her cannon. Marinah‘s forthcoming third album Heroinas celebrates women, her own femininity and growth as an artist. New on my playlist this week is a track from the album, “Noche de Plata” a collaboration with Afro-Cuban singer, songwriter, rapper, flautist La Dame Blanche. The song combines the two artists’ styles, with Marinah delving deeper into her global sound, where Caribbean rhythms meet Middle Eastern melodies & Spanish gyspy culture. The result is joyful and laid-back, perfect for an evening in making dinner while sipping a glass of your favorite Rioja
For fans of: Afro Celt Sound System, Natacha Atlas, Bebe.
I grew up in Birmingham and Lichfield in the British Midlands, and, yes, of course I was in a couple of bands between 1979 and 82, however I was sadly not destined to be a rock star (or a football player for that matter). Apart from a one-off gig in London, we were never able to bust out of our local scene. 40 years later, the Lichfield/Birmingham quintet Violet could make the jump that my mates and I didn’t. Wearing their ’90s influences of Seattle grunge and snarling Britpop proudly, their songs are drenched in jangly guitars wrapped around intricate drums and slamming basslines. A series of singles over the last four years have caught the attention of myself as well as the cool kids over at BBC Radio 6. The group’s first release in two years, “Fade,” sees the band discovering a little more space in the music. The song reminds me of an updated take on post-punk legends The Comsat Angels but with an added vocal swagger and pop sensibility that makes it feel both vibey and familiar at the same time. Pretty, pretty, pretty good.
For fans of: Slowdive, The Horrors, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Comsat Angels