Promote This is a long-running NadaMucho.com feature wherein we write about songs and videos by emerging and unsigned bands. Send submissions to @nadamucho with hash tag #PromoteThis. This installment includes Canadian rapper The Emsee, singer/songwriter Kevin Morby (who used to play bass in Woods) and Seattle via Walla Walla, Washington band The Table of Contents.
The Emsee – “Rap Squared”
Rap is in a confusing place for genre purists these days, especially considering the fact that it’s outgrown geographical importance, backstory legitimacy no longer holds value, and mic skills have started to mean less. One artist who’s no longer standing for such mediocrity is The Emsee (pictured above), a Canadian rapper who formerly appeared on Canada’s Got Talent back in 2012, and he’s coming at the genre with all guns blazing on “Rap Squared”.
But, as perhaps the most important rapper in the history of time has said, “What’s the basis?” The most confusing aspect of this track is The Emsee’s frustration with his “peers” (is Snow still around?) spewing lackluster minutia but, when you consider his bars, he faces the same issue. He’s tired of the clichés and regurgitated ideas yet offers nothing new in return. Is that your endgame, The Emsee? Is this your “Ironic”? Since rap is a genre built entirely around storytelling and narrative, you’d imagine someone attempting to go back to its roots might start there, but nah. This track is the product of a nice kid from The Great White North who has decent audio equipment and figured out how to layer his voice like Em did in 2001. – Cameron Deuel
Kevin Morby – “My Name”
“My Name”, the new 7” single from Kevin Morby on Suicide Squeeze, does that trick of getting your attention not by shouting, but by staying quiet. Simple, finger picked acoustic guitar backs Kevin’s oddly accented vocals (he sounds almost Scandinavian) on a short (2 minutes) but sweet tune, a warm up for his 2nd full length as a solo artist, Still Life due in October. You may know him as bass player with Woods, but fans of lonely singer-songwriters will want to hear this, too. – Abe Beeson
The Table of Contents – “Falling Down”
After several times through, this track is sending out some serious proto-Weezer vibes, if Weezer had started out with a keyboardist. “Falling Down” is some serious garage rock worship but gilded with enough pop ingenuity to keep it from falling into one specific bucket. I’m unreasonably thrilled they call their music “Inland Northwest Pop Rock” because, not only is it an accurate description, but it serves their genuinely different agenda. These dudes just dropped a new album and you should grab it from their Bandcamp because how else is this genre going to span the globe?
The video is cool because you can tell the person who directed and produced it was into AV in high school and is still working on their creative process but is too focused on recurring shots of midflight seagulls and smash-cuts from the same basic sweeping oceanic views to realize it’s just distracting. Also, whoever’s Dad made it out to location for this extended cameo deserves a major shout-out. – Cameron Deuel