We’re going to try to get in the swing of making Tuesdays “New Music Tuesdays” over here at Ultra5280, and what a better way to kick it off than with one of our favorite local artists, and one of the bands that has stolen our heart time and time again. This week we’re going a little on the soul side, and focusing on Jon Shockness’ new solo project Kid Astronaut, as well as Boston’s soul sons Bad Rabbits.
You are (hopefully) by now familiar with Air Dubai, Denver’s six piece electro-pop hip-hop group. A band who’s been making waves in the Mile High city since before the release of their first full-length Wonder Age was in 2010, lead vocalist Jon Shockness has been working double time recently to begin experimenting with his own material under the name Kid Astronaut. Jon’s efforts working towards a solo career have existed just as long as Air Dubai, but the first track dropped under this monicker came this past July with the song “This Day”. His solo stuff is a sure departure from the upbeat radio hits of Air Dubai, but brings out the same lyrical strength we’ve come to expect. Tracks like “This Day” and “Phone Home” let us hear Jon rap more than we’ve heard on any of his previous releases, and I truly hope this change sticks, as it’s obviously a strong talent that suits him well. With great cadence, and wonderfully smart lines like “I’m feeling happier than Pharrell ever been/ walking on clouds baby this day is on ten” we’re excited to keep hearing more from this solo project. My favorite release so far has been the song “Finally it’s You” simply because of how starkly different it is from anything else I’ve ever heard Jon release. The track features no rapping, very different lyrical content, and to top it off, a beautiful violin humming through the background. The song is beautiful through and through, and you can check out the newly released music video for the track below. We love watching artists grow and change, and this new era for Jon Shockness is one I’m curious to continue to follow. If you’d like to see his work live, he’s playing a show this coming Friday night at 7pm at The Atlas Theatre. You can find more info on the Kid Astronaut Facebook page.
Boston natives Bad Rabbits have been around for quite some time, and their EP Stick Up Kids has been on my iPhone since the day I first heard it in 2010. The band has toured with Travie McCoy of Gym Class Heroes, done the Vans Warped Tour twice (in 2011 and 2014), and just came through town this past month opening for singer/songwriter Allen Stone. If you think the list of acts they’ve played with is eclectic, try listening to their music. With hints of soul, gospel, hip hop, and 80’s pop all wrapped into one neat little package, the only thing one can do to adequately process their music is dance about it. The band released their first full length American Love in 2013, and have been touring nearly the entire year in support of the album. Songs like “Booties”, “Stick Up Kids”, “We Can Roll”, and “Doin’ It” are my personal favorite tracks, but nothing in this world compares to this band’s live show. Full of choreographed dance routines, jumps off of bass drums, an insanely impressive vocal performance and more clapping than you could expect (both to keep rhythm, and for applause), I have said it time and time and time again, this band cannot be topped; they are one of my favorite live bands without question. They may have a fascination with booties, but don’t let it deter you, their music is just as fun and beautiful as the butts they showcase on their album artwork. The band only has two shows scheduled through the end of the year, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted the next time they roll through Denver. In the mean time, get your dancing shoes on and put your headphones in - it’s time to study up so you’re fully prepared to have your mind blown when you see them live. Don’t say I didn’t warn you about this band’s addictiveness, and let me be the first to welcome you into the Bad Rabbits fan community by teaching you our motto: BR ALL DAY, BAD RABBITS!