Black Hole Rainbow by Devon Gilfillian
The best part about this album is its relatability. Each song title tells you what you are in for and transports you back in time, feeling the emotion as Devon Gilfillian and band are playing. This album is the background music to your life. When you need to be reminded how much inner strength you have, when you are blinded by love, or handling pain, the cohesion between the lyrics and instrumental blend amazingly. This is music with meaning. It is an indie/alternative album, but it has sounds comparable to funk, country, gospel, tribal, and old school hip hop. The album starts off strong with each song having a basic but strong emotional lesson, then it goes into a small journey of being in love and then dealing with heartbreak, but around the end of the album the lessons and the situations in the story became less impactful – the energy to finish the album in one sitting could wane. On the other hand the album is a standard 12 songs, a listener-friendly length. If you are feeling that certain emotion or you are able to relate to the story at that very moment in which you are listening, it may have greater meaning, but all around Devon Gilfillian’s masterful, soulful range is a talent that the world needs to hear.
Athena by Sudan Archives
Join Sudan Archives in her journey of self-discovery, love, loss and growth. Athena is a master class of musical engineering, balancing a myriad of different genres into one R&B album. Funk, Rock, Psychedelic, Neo Jazz, Orchestral are all used to create imagery of the topic and emotion in each song. Speaking of emotion, her excellent voice control blends exceptionally well with the instrumental, allowing you to lose yourself in the song and feel whatever emotion she is feeling at that part of the story. In her journey, she experiences emotional highs and lows but what is consistent is her pushing herself to become a better, stronger, more confident person. Empowering herself and empowering her listeners by being relatable. This album exemplifies experience. Bad things will happen but you can become more powerful, independent, and wise as you overcome each situation. As a singer Sudan Archives does not show great range, but it does not stop her from creating immersive, sensational sounds. There are some filler instrumentals, but they don’t take away from the overall ambiance that ‘Athena’ creates. There is also a feature by rapper D-8 that proves to be a hidden gem. Recommendation: Place ‘Athena’ by Sudan Archives on replay.