como

They are Angelia Taylor, Della Daniels and Ester Mae Smith, two sisters and a childhood friend from Como, Mississippi.  It was in that small Southern town that these Como Mamas learned the old songs, their voices harmonizing and shouting through the warm air drifting through Mount Moriah Baptist Church. From Como to Brooklyn, they were discovered by Daptone Records, and after a powerful a cappella debut, they’re now backed by Daptone’s Glorifiers band for their second full length, Move Upstairs.  “Oh yeah!”, their voices call and respond. They are voices heavy like the blues, but triumphant and holy.  “Get ready! Get ready!” The Mamas are counting their blessings, one rocking, grooving gospel song at a time. They’re singing along to a bluesy organ, a righteous drum beat, a fiery electric guitar.  They’re shouting. They’re celebrating. They’re giving it their all. 99 and a half just won’t do.

Move Upstairs will be released on May 19 by Daptone Records. You can purchase the record here.

civilized creature

A burst of electronic pulses and dance floor jams give way to pop vocals, quiet ambient synth and wild noises. Swooping in and out come instrumental sounds, Radiohead-like breakdowns, 80s-style synth piano, sacred promises, mystery, fire, grace. “You are not alone”, sings Civilized Creature’s Ryan Lane on his recent release, Steadfast. “It’s gonna be alright. You’re gonna be okay”. Dance music. Gospel music. Call it what you want to call it. It’s a bass-thumping, breakdance-inducing joyful noise.

You can listen to, purchase or download the album here, or explore Ryan and Civilized Creature’s work with the Nehemiah Foundation for Cultural Renewal here.

epcoverart_2400x2400

The apex of Heritage Hill’s debut EP, Out of the Sea, comes about halfway into the album, when the four Vancouver ladies channel Father Abraham himself, to vent what feels like every frustration, every discouragement, and every praise that’s ever come down the pike.  Harmonizing over gentle bluegrass and Americana melodies, the band switches from slow lament to foot stomping worship throughout the song. It’s a haunting tune, sitting within a beautiful debut—one that captures the many brutal sides of faith, and the glory that emerges somewhere over the rise.

You can purchase the album on itunes and Google Play, or stream it on Spotify.  You can also find more information about the band and their ministry here.