Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – June 23

Resistance Revival Chorus, Public Enemy, Ruth B, theMIND, Amber Mark, Songhoy Blues, Greyboy Allstars, The Asteroid No. 4

Clockwise from top left: Resistance Revival Chorus, Public Enemy, Ruth B, theMIND, Amber Mark, Songhoy Blues, Greyboy Allstars and The Asteroid No. 4.Every week, there’s more new music waiting to be discovered.

But this week approaches amid more protests and marches nationwide. Perhaps you are getting marching, or donating, or learning. Hopefully you caught on that last Friday was Juneteenth—the celebration and commemoration of the day slavery officially ended, though both “officially” and “ended” are not really correct. Many amazing artists, released tracks in accordance with this hopefully soon-to-be-observed holiday.

This week’s playlist caters to artists raising awareness and celebrating life during this push for change in this country. We’re happy to bring you the latest, greatest new songs in this weekly segment.

Enjoy this week’s hidden gems.


Amber Mark, “My People” — “My People” is a heartfelt cover of “My People…Hold On,” originally performed by The Temptations’ lead singer Eddie Kendricks. The song was recorded as a reaction to the Black Lives Matter protests. New York singer-songwriter Amber Mark has a powerful voice. You can feel all of her emotion as she belts out the chorus. In the video, a group of women in flowing dresses dance on a rooftop together as one unit. Amber Mark’s voice soars like it could carry on forever. The video comes to an emphatic end with the dancers’ fists raised into the air over a crowd chanting “no justice.” In accordance with the song’s activist angle, Mark will donate all profits from this song to organizations that develop black agricultural land ownership.

Mark dedicated the song “To all the people speaking out on behalf of purely loving one another no matter the minuscule 1 percent differences in our DNA. Hold on to that love and know you, no matter where your homo sapiens ancestors migrated to, are and always will be my people.”



theMIND featuring Krystal Metcalfe, “A Spike Lee Jawn” — theMind, released this track on Juneteenth on Bandcamp, with all funds benefitting the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The artist gives this statement about his track: “FUCK 12 and reparations have been due. This song is a 400-year old invoice.” The song is lyrically dense, but against R&B funk beats, it becomes danceable, too. Krystal Metcalfe’s vocals brings more soul funk vibes, but the lyrics tell another story: “I just want my 40 acres/ FUCK THE MULE/ Pay me all my fucking wages/ ‘Cause we need justice too.” A phrase echoed throughout the South: “40 acres and a mule” refers to the land allotment offered to freed slaves after the Civil War. The song is powerful, yet easy to get lost in.


Greyboy Allstars, “Como de Allstars” — West Coast boogaloo revivalists Greyboy Allstars released this surprise track after seven years. The quintet formed in 1994 as a who’s-who of soul and jazz. The band brings together saxophonist Karl Denson (who’s played with the Rolling Stones), guitarist Elgin Park (who composed the score of recent film “The King of Staten Island”) and organist Robert Walter (who plays with Mike Gordon of Phish), along with in-demand session bassist Chris Stillwell and drummer Aaron Redfield. “Como De Allstars” starts with some fresh Caribbean and calypso beats made for the dance floor. Percussion and organs come together for a funky, uplifting rhythm as Denson’s fiery sax cuts through the ether. The chorus brings a message of unity as the band sings: “Surviving in a bitter world/ Divided, confused by the states/ United, come on friends we’re gonna make it brighter.”


Public Enemy, “State of the Union (STFU)” — Chuck D is back in fine fashion. His vocals remain rich and in your face. Driven by DJ Lord’s hypnotic, sticky beats, this song leaves no stone left unturned. Chuck D rapping about how our President needs to go will only become more hard-hitting. The incendiary wordplay meats the standard set by Chuck D and Flava Flav, forming a strong call to vote Trump out of office and redouble the fight against racism. “White House killer/ Vote this joke out/ State of the Union, shut the fuck up/ Sorry-ass motherfucker/ Stay away from me,” the group sings in unison. Public Enemy’s art has always been an unwavering middle finger to the establishment. In line with Public Enemy’s ideals, the group has release this newest single for free.


Songhoy Blues, “Worry” — This is the first English language song for Malian rock band Songhoy Blues. Starting out with a tight guitar riff, the song still has a sound distinct to Malian heritage. One minute in, the song picks up with intense riffage and drums, giving it a more punk rock aesthetic. The catchy hooks hop along with the increasing energy. “Worry” presents a light-hearted desert rock and roll fusion, centering on perseverance, hope and positive energy, with uplifting lyrics like, “Don’t worry/ You’re gonna be happy/ Keep fighting today.”


Resistance Revival Chorus, “Ella’s Song” — The Resistance Revival Chorus, a group of 60 women and non-binary singers, breathes life into this anthem written by activist Ella Baker. Released on Juneteenth, Baker’s words continue to live on in this stunning performance. The anthem conjures up activists who came before and women’s voices that still need to be heard. Raw and beautiful, the song remains soulful and so full of life.

The video consists of pictures taken by photographers within the chorus, including Brooke Williams, Kisha Bari, Dina Rudeen and Ginny Suss. These images are from the marches and protests following the killing of George Floyd. The song is currently available on Bandcamp and will also be available from Righteous Babe Records on July 2 for all platforms. The RRC will donate 100 percent of the proceeds this year to the Movement For Black Lives.


The Asteroid No. 4, “The After Glow” — Bay Area transplants Asteroid No. 4 create psychedelic music better than anyone; well, this week, at least. Jangly, sparkly guitars combine in shoegaze brilliance and a continuously building wall of sound. As voices float in the song’s sonic wormhole, it has a dreamlike feel. There is a haziness and Ride-like sound to the vocals. Its hypnotic atmosphere draws you in and doesn’t let go. Once the song ends, its easy to imagine an alternate universe where the song continues on in a never-ending loop.


Ruth B., “If I Have A Son” — Canadian singer-songwriter Ruth B. wrote this stark, haunting song with just her voice and a piano. Her emotion and pain clings to your heart, falling out of her and lingering in the air. The song aches and crushes, and yet impossible to avoid repeating. Its sadness hits home, when contextualized as a reality for Black moms. The lyrics cut deep as Ruth B. sings, “No matter what you say/ No matter what you do/ This world will never be as friendly to you/ I wanna keep you close/ I wanna keep you safe/ I hope I see the day where I don’t have to pray/ Every time you go.” Proceeds from the song will benefit Campaign Zero, Black Youth Helpline; Hope Ethiopia and True North Aid.


Rachel’s Pick: It’s hard to make a pick when each of these songs are powerful in its own way. In this time of uprising, protests, marches and rallies, Public Enemy remains the voice of the people and for the people. The lyrics of “State of the Union (STFU),” are as pointed as Public Enemy wrote on classics like “Fight The Power.” The song is impossible to ignore. It is the most important song I have heard in a long time, and the beat will not leave my head any time soon.

Follow writer Rachel Goodman at Twitter.com/xneverwherex and Instagram.com/xneverwherex.

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