My high school biology teacher was kind of a jerk. All year long, he'd constant compare me with my sister. He had taught her three years prior, and remembered her as an A-plus student. She wasn't, but it didn't matter. He would always point how different I was simply because I was sort of the class clown and struggled with the subject. Nice guy. I bring this up because there's no way you can compare Donn T with her brother Questlove. Well, you can in saying they're both immensely talented but as far as artists, they stand on their own. Just like my sister and I!
Anyway, singer/songwriter Donn T just dropped her new EP, Gramophonica,and it's an alt-soul gem. The four-song features the standout track "Midnight," which she performed at Primary Wave Music's A-Sides Studios/Listening Room in New York City earlier this month. The talent also took part in a chat about how she developed her own style. Oh, and I had to ask her about Questlove's afro. I mean, I had to. Sorry. Channeling that inner biology teacher perhaps? Anyway, watch and listen on. This compelling, cool-without-trying artist is going to breakout soon. Video filmed by Joe Ades.
"Midnight" - A-Sides Exclusive
Like Donn T, Topher Mohr has a unique voice both lyrically and vocally. The alt-funk master has been touring since his teens and has been crushing it as a solo artist since dropped Phlotilla - his second studio album - last year. A staple in Mayer Hawthorne's band, he's now front and center where he should be with meaningful songs that sound different. Different in music, we know well, is liquid gold. Shootmepeter.com filmed an exclusive two-song set for A-Sides earlier this month (also at Primary Wave Music), and the results were fan-freaking-tastic. Watch and listen to the songs including newbie "Red Line Express," and sit down for a sit down interview. You're welcome.
"Red Line Express"
A-Sides "Delve Into Twelve" Countdown
Each week A-Sides unleashes its Top 12 tracks of the week AKA the "Delve Into Twelve"based on the following contributing factors: songs I'm playing out that particular week NO MATTER WHEN THEY WERE RELEASED (think overlooked songs, unreleased tracks, and old favorites), songs various publicists are trying to get me to listen to that I did and dug a bunch, posts and trends I've noticed on my friends' Facebook walls, and -- most importantly -- the songs my two-year-old-plus son gravitates toward by stomping his feet in approval. Yeah, you read that right. This weeks follows below (LW= last week's rank).
12. "Wet Sand" (retro cut) - Red Hot Chili Peppers
11. "Iris" (LW-8) - U2
10. "Champions of Red Wine" (LW-5) - The New Pornographers
9. "O" (debut) - Coldplay
8. "Crazy for You" (LW-7) - Scars on 45 (Watch their exclusive A-Sides performance here!)
7. "Home" (LW-3) - Dotan
6. "Something From Nothing (debut) - Foo Fighters
5. "Da Vinci" (LW-9) - Weezer
4."Inside Out" (LW-2) - Spoon
3. "First" (LW-6) - Cold War Kids (Watch their exclusive A-Sides performance here.)
2. "Beggin For Thread" (LW-1) - Banks
1. "Mess is Mine" (LW-3) - Vance Joy (Watch his exclusive performance of the song for A-Sides here!)
About A-Sides Music
Jon Chattman's "A-Sides Music" series was established in August 2011 and usually features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I'm hoping this is refreshing. Artists have included: fun, Courtney Love, Air Supply, Birdy, Sleigh Bells, Aretha Franklin, Alice Cooper, Echosmith, Charli XCX, Jake Miller, American Authors, Imagine Dragons, Gary Clark Jr., and more! A-Sides theme written and performed by Blondfire.