Jamila Woods

Jamila Woods

Photographer: Bradley Murray / Courtesy of the artist

Jamila Woods - “SULA (Paperback)”


Chicago singer/songwriter/poet Jamila Woods has added so much to the conversation about gender roles and identity, which is being elevated by many female artists today. Her new single “SULA (paperback)” is a tribute to the novel by the same name by Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison. Woods credits this novel as the inspiration behind her first book of poetry. Both the novel and the song speak to the search for identity outside of the traditional role of women defined by a society designed by men. Woods says, “It gave me permission to reject confining ideas about my identity designed to shrink my spirit … this song is a mantra to allow myself space to experience my gender, love, intimacy and sexuality on my own terms.”

Bahamas - “Own Alone”

Afie Jurvanen, the Canadian artist known by the name Bahamas, has dropped the first single off his upcoming fifth album. “Own Alone” comes at you with a rhythmic jam and upbeat melody elevated by deeply observational lyricism. Jurvanen has described the song as a reflection of how people have changed since mobile phones have become a prevalent feature in all our lives. The song’s content cleverly peers behind the curtain of our changing society, yet it’s that playful guitar that lifts this track without distracting from the message.

LA Witch - “Dark Horse”

L.A. Witch is a California female rock trio whose haunting, genre-fluid single “Dark Horse” combines a rhythmically heavy guitar tempo and tonally dark vocal delivery. The band’s members self-quarantined themselves before the COVID-19 lockdown even began, in order to create their new album, “Play With Fire.” The result of this forced isolation was a creative triumph displayed in full force on this single. “I’ve definitely learned that having restrictions forces you to think outside the box,” says bassist Irita Pai. One of the standout creative elements of “Dark Horse” is a surprising psychedelic transition towards the end.