Jamila Woods-Holy-Empowerment in a Song

Jamila Woods is a poet and vocalist who leans musically to soul, R&B, and hip hop. All I hear is beautiful… and strong… and uniquely female.

There is a moment in every person’s life where you might feel small, temporarily knocked down, or simply fighting for what is right.

I recognize the hardship people experience with difficult business relationships, losses, and missed opportunities. It is painful stuff. It is easy to slip down in the hole of despair, worry, or crisis.

I have felt these same feelings on many occasions in my life, but somehow, I see the light on a bright green leaf, witness the sparkly eye of an elderly woman in the grocery line, or the happy warmth of entering a closed up, parked car in the sun on a chilly day. In other words, I am lucky. I can find and seek moments which can transform my mood. Not everyone has this internal force. I have spoken to so many amazing women lately who, for one reason or another, are emotionally struggling in their business and personal lives. I listen, try to give advice when asked, but sometimes it just takes wading through the muck. All of the focus should be concentrated on getting to the other side, and finding a safe place to land and settle for a while.

One step at a time…one day at a time.

Here is a tune that is so empowering. It is all about the deep down person you are…at your core. In my opinion, you are always bigger than the circumstances you might find yourself in. You are Holy.

Jamila Woods-Holy

“Ye, the bad days may come
The lover may leave
The winter may not
Hey, the map of your palms
The temple you be
You’re all that you got”

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Jamila Woods is a poet and vocalist who leans musically to soul, R&B, and hip hop.

“Poet and vocalist Jamila Woods was raised in Chicago, IL and graduated from Brown University, where she earned a BA in Africana Studies and Theatre & Performance Studies. Influenced by Lucille Clifton and Gwendolyn Brooks, much of her writing explores blackness, womanhood & the city of Chicago…Raised in her church choir, Jamila’s musical aesthetic involves choral layering in addition to the hip-hop tradition of sampling & allusions.”

All I hear is beautiful… and strong… and uniquely female. It speaks to me lyrically and vocally and I hope you might feel the same. It is the perfect song for a week of important meetings, celebrations of new beginnings and bittersweet endings, and simply taking the time to listen and pay close attention to you and who you might be deep down inside.

You are Holy.

Florist-Vacation

Here is my select song for you this week.

Sometimes it can be powerful to look back.This song sends me back to a pleasurable, thoughtful moment in time, and I bet it will send you there too.

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Emily Sprague of Florist writes poetry and accompanies it with music. She bears her heart in her sing-speak style and as you listen you find it to be ‘deep in her diary’ personal, and yet it also strikes a chord because it seems oddly universal.  Along with her intimate songs, you have to respect her counterparts, Rick Spataro, Jonnie Baker, and Felix Walworth who accompany each song with a substantially important musical addition. “Vacation” is just one sparkly gem in the ‘mine’ of  loveliness found on the EP Holdly, which arrived on October 30 via Double Double Whammy.

“Holdly examines things we hold dear, things that hold us, and things we hold ourselves to,” Sprague told FADER over email. “Holdly remains calm all while realizing, living with, and wholly accepting the sad and beautiful life that every one of us experiences.”

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Kate Tempest-Theme From Becky and Circles

There are times when I feel vulnerable and unsure….I tend to stop talking and get quiet. Why do I worry about the way others view me?

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I am not sure if my silence is a conditioned response or not, but today I feel like it might be tragic. Perhaps my voice is my voice and unique and I shouldn’t worry about the consequences of  speaking my heart and my thoughts. Something to definitely chew on.

There are some voices that should be heard, without a doubt, and I have decided this is one.

Kate Tempest is a poet, writer, and speaks powerful truths about the struggling, fringe population, but somehow those difficult situations connect on a wider, deeper level.  “Theme From Becky” is a perfect example, just listen….

 

https://soundcloud.com/dazedandconfused/kate-tempest-theme-from-becky

“I’ve never wanted to be anybody other

Than the person that I am

And the things that I discovered

In the circles that I ran

Have been difficult and humbling

Some don’t understand

But I am happiest when struggling

Well all of us walk to our own beat

And each person’s rhythm is unique

You can’t hear somebody’s tune

If you count in your time

You must count their time

to enjoy how their mind

Makes its music…”

Karen Tempest is a female rapper, from London, who shatters the barriers of rap and contemporary verse and combines them perfectly. I would never have found her if she had not put her brilliant poetry to music.

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I find it to be fresh, with a raw, honest view of a struggling world (aren’t we all wrestling with life?). In my opinion, Rap has been missing the poetry of introspective thoughtful women ( if you know of others….please share). Hallelujah for her unique voice. I will follow her from here on out, read her prize-winning poetry, and listen to her music. Her words are harsh, difficult contemporary glimpses, but somehow an important spice that should be tasted, digested, and appreciated.

Human.

“As Tempest’s gorgeous steams of words flow out, they conjure a story so vivid its as if you had a state-of-the-art Blu-Ray player stuffed in your brain, projecting image after image that sears itself into your consciousness”

– New York Times

She is an amazing talent and a strong voice that I hope gives others (including myself) the courage to speak, write, and create.

Damien Rice-I Don’t Want To Change You

Listen to this song….

Wherever you go, I can always follow
I can feed this real slow, if it’s a lot to swallow
If you just wanna be alone, I can wait without waiting
If you want me to let this go, I am more than willing
‘Cause I don’t want to change you…..

This song touches something deep inside me.

Damien Rice has a way of discovering a fragile vulnerability and smashing it with his voice, his words, and his own deep understanding of human nature and love. This singer, songwriter pulls at my heartstrings in such a way that I can’t even begin to explain. I have to listen again and again. This is passionate musical poetry.

Absolutely magnificent!

 

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Welcome back, Mr. Rice. I am breathlessly anticipating your album release on November 11th, My Favourite Faded Fantasy. Eight years has just been way too long.

If you can’t get enough, check out my other post on Irish bands which include Damien Rice, here.

PS. This came out today….

 

 

 

 

 

James Vincent McMorrow-Red Dust

Relieved of dish washing to savor the last sip of wine

The warmth of sunshine through a window, on a cold wintry day

A puppy who greets with a wagging tail

A stranger’s wave after moving ahead in traffic

An enthusiastic and inspiring speaker who was just a last minute, emergency fill in.

Running late, but making every traffic light

The happy giggle of a toddler

An old acquaintance remembering your name

The smell of an impending rainstorm

Slurping a cold milkshake after miles and miles of cycling

These are all moments in my life that truly please me. They are each beautiful and divine in their own right. You might have some others to add to this running list of mine. I like to think of them as experiences which come spontaneously from the universe and cause me to pause and pay attention.

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The song, “Red Dust”, is a newly discovered offering, as well, from a soon to be released album, Post Tropical. James Vincent McMorrow is an Irish singer/songwriter who grips a deep place in my soul that I really can’t shake. Lyrically poetic and powerful, the music is also paired with his heavenly voice that touches my heart like no other. I only learned of this indie folk singer recently, but I have spent many a stolen moment listening to his soothing voice, taking pleasure in his unique style, and carefully contemplating the lovely lyrics. James Vincent McMorrow has a beautiful gift that needs to be shared. I feel sure if you listen to the track until the last note, it will please you.

I encourage you to dig into his entire discography, each seems better than the last. Here are two other songs that I particularly loved.

https://soundcloud.com/vagrantrecords/we-dont-eat