Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different songs as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday, we deliver songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Simple Advice” by Georgia Anne Muldrow from their from the 2010 album Kings Ballad on Ubiquity Records.
California native Georgia Anne Muldrow is an artist who’d require a 200-page working thesis to even begin to describe the sound and soul of her music. A fusion of gospelized hip hop, pop n’ lock, free-flowing jazz, and “fonk,” tangled up in rich African tradition and fierce philosophy, Muldrow is one layered musician and individual. The self-proclaimed “sonic warrior” teamed up with her partner, emcee and producer Dudley Perkins once again to craft yet another provoking piece of art with Kings Ballad.
Formed amidst the beginnings of the Obama administration, the death of her musical-hero Michael Jackson and her son’s first birthday, her fifth full-studio album is jam packed with celebration of life and a longing for universal enlightenment. Muldrow, known for flying solo when writing music and creating beats, shows off her matured side with “poppier” melodies (at least according to Dudley) and confident positivity.
“Simple Advice” displays her fighting optimism with a mix of old school hip hop charm and retro funk. Muldrow starts simple with guitar, cymbals and a soulful roll of “oooo”‘s, reminiscent of gospel backup singers. She soon finds her groove with a marimba-like beat before moving into her sultry lyrics. Switching between her rich and raw singing and humble rapping, Muldrow advises the world to not just be, but actual live. She pleads “don’t take a gag order from the T.V. screen” and “don’t regurgitate books that you read,” but instead “be your own book”. For a woman who believes music-making is her life “duty” and her “heartbeat [was] the very first instrument of the human experience that anyone [got] to hear,” I think Muldrow’s simple advice might be worth taking.
Check out all 19 tracks on her new label Ubiquity Records. In the meanwhile, soak in a video of “Sunset” from the 2009 album Early: