Welcome to Discovery Zone, KMW's monthly post that puts all the releases by Knoxville artists that you need to know about in one place. In the interest of discovering awesome new local music, we're compiling the best stuff in one post for your listening enjoyment. And you don't even have to worry about drowning in a pit of plastic balls.
We're also giving out the special honor each month of the Roly Slide of the Month. If you grew up going to Discovery Zone, you remember that amazing moment when you've reached the center of that giant colorful labyrinth to find that bigass roly slide. The reward is a joyous moment of free fall without a care in the world. This is like that with music.
We want to encourage you to share this post if you find some new local music that you find yourself enjoying.
So without any further ado, here are this months tunes!
Thelo-Que - Life's Wonderful Up Here
We've been waiting on a new record / mixtape from Thelo for a while now, and this one was worth the wait. There's just nothing out there like Thelo-Que. His brand of cerebral hip-hop with a splash of jazz and tight flows are something everyone in Knoxville needs to be up on. Included in this record is "The Ville," Thelo's track featuring Dreama that took the number one spot on our Top Singles of 2016 list. You can catch Thelo-Que live at Modern Studio on Friday, March 17th. Finally, shoutout to whoever designed the album artwork, because it is dope.
Judah White - "Days Won't Go"
You may recognize Judah's voice from the retro-ish synth pop band Yung Life. His new song "Days Won't Go" is a bright and cheery pop tune with a delightfully crunchy bass groove.
Benjamin iii with ErybodyJones - "YBM"
As far as Knoxville rappers go, there may not be a more potent duo of provocative truth tellers than Benjamin iii and ErybodyJones, and they absolutely deliver on "YBM." The visual effects in this video are crazy, and every bit of this video visually and sonically is something to behold.
Mathien - DoWhutNah?!
Another month, another badass record from Mathien. There's a little bit of wing stretching going on in DoWhutNah?!, expanding on Mathien's pop and neo-soul usual. The track "The Year 2016 In Song Form" is a mix of jazz and rock that is exactly as chaotic as you would think given the title. Blonde Bones's Christian Barnett was enlisted to add some banjo and mandolin to "You Can't Write This Stuff." Then there are also a few delightful, hand-clapping soulful pop tunes that are Mathien's bread and butter like "Mad Heart Dance" and "You Let Me Get Away With It."
Josiah & The Greater Good - "Shot Down"
"Shot Down" is Josiah & The Greater Good's first single of 2017 after a handful of great ones in 2016. Josiah continues to put out consistent quality funk-rock, and Brandon Bowman absolutely crushes it on sax in this song.
Meob - "New Nouns"
"Built To Chill" is the second single from Meob's upcoming self-titled record due out some time in March. Read more about it here.
Mic Harrison & The High Score - "Warm Winter Day"
A few weeks ago Mic Harrison & The High Score let us debut a song from their upcoming album Vanishing South, due out Friday, March 10th. You can read more about the song and upcoming record here.
Persona La Ave - Gloria Miami b/w Gimme An A
Persona La Ave gives us some '80s movie montage music with his split Gloria Miami b/w Gimme An A. This is probably the funkiest thing you'll hear all day/week/month.
Ukamea - "4pm In Maryville City"
Ukamea channels Warren G's "Regulate" in "4PM In Maryville City."
YoungFreeman with Luna Riiitz and Qaewin - "Forward Back"
The beat in "Forward Back" is a head nodder for sure, and the flow fits it like a glove. Good stuff from the trio of YoungFreeman, Luna Riiitz, and Qaewin out of Clarksville, TN.
Sweet Years - Coat Guts
There were a lot of great releases from Knoxville bands in February, but the month has belonged to Sweet Years. Their packed out album / music video release show at The Pilot Light on Saturday had an energy to it indicating that the whole indie-rock scene in town is behind these guys and rightfully so. This is their first full-length effort, and it is a punch-packing garagey rock masterpiece like only Sweet Years can do it. The music video for the song "Fireproof" is awesome as well, and we'll have more on that later. KMW is pleased to award February's Roly Slide of the Month to Sweet Years!