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Soul

Best of New England Folk/Soul Reader's Poll: Frank Viele

 The Deli readers have spoken, choosing Connecticut songwriter Frank Viele as the best emerging New England folk/soul artist of 2016.  A cocktail of classic soul/RnB, alt-rock, and a dash of country twang, Viele earns a place alongside artists like Ray Lamontagne and The Black Crowes, keeping the roots alive and well.  Check out the dates for Frank's current US tour here and stay tuned for more poll results! -Brian Varneke

Mateo Akhi releases new album, to play SOB's on 2/22

With artists like Chance the Rapper serving as living manifestations of Kanye West's legacy, it's hard not to evaluate contemporary rappers according to how to relate to and differ from West in terms of music, persona or both. A rapper that invites this kind of comparison is Mateo Akhi. The Jersey City rapper's most recent LP, veyebes, features a potent mix of rootsy hip hop reminiscent of West's earlier stuff and the distorted edgeof his later works. The key difference, however, lies in the vocals. While West is mostly known for his rapping, Akhi raps and sings all throughout the album, quite literally, finding his own voice. Tracks like 'poplar trees' show Akhi at his best, with the stormy instrumental perfectly matching his intense vocals. You can catch him live at SOB's on 2/22. —Henry Solotaroff-Weber

Melat Brings Sensual R&B to Central Texas

In Ethiopia, music is the lifeblood, and an endless trove of quality music and musicians have orginated from the East African nation as part of a rich tradition.  Austin is lucky to have a seed of the Ethiopian diaspora end up in Central Texas where it/she has blossomed into one of the most intriguing and talented chanteuses in the Austin scene. Melat Kassa blends sensual R&B beats with jazz and electronic tinges that are accentuated by her otherworldly smoky vocals. It is no coincidence that Melat won the best emerging artist poll for Soul/Hip Hop given her stratospheric talent and overwhelmingly attractive looks. While Melat may not be the typical style of music to come out of Austin, she has all the tools to become the most succesful yet.

 

 

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Buzz Alert: Maxine Ashley drops "Paranoid," an EP of sultry soul

With soulful vocals and mezmorizing instrumentals, Bronx-based Maxine Ashley, serves up a slice of 90's R&B heaven. Her latest EP, Paranoid, is five-tracks worth of warm, sultry tunes with some serious old-school vibes, but Ashley delivers confidence and swagger that are all her own. Keep your eyes on this girl, because we'd hedge are bets that she's going places. Stream the title track from the new EP below.-Olivia Sisinni

 

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79.5 drop new single, "Boy Don't Be Afraid" and play The Bowery Ballroom 3/31

NYC's buzzworthy soul ensemble, 79.5channels a legendary girl-group energy in their new single "Boy Don't Be Afraid". The second single off of their upcoming album Predictions, the group combines impeccable vocal harmonies, subtly smooth grooves, and their unique modern flavor, to create a sound that embodies the musical culture of New York City.  They'll be playing live 3/31 at the Bowery Ballroom alongside Chicano Batman, and The Shacks, but in the meantime, stream them below.-Olivia Sisinni

 

 

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