Divine Council UTR
Hailing from Richmond, Virginia, Divine Council comes at you with a more laidback spin on the traditional Atlanta trap sound, with beats similar to those of artists that have become staples of the game. Using unique cadences and clever rhymes that are sure to get a smile out of you if nothing else, Divine Council are an immensely talented group of musicians. The group, composed of $ilk Money, Cyrax!, ICYTWAT and Lord Linco, has been releasing singles on Soundcloud since 2014, but didn’t release their debut tape “Council World” until July of 2016, after signing to Epic Records. They also opened for Young Thug and 21 Savage this past fall on the High Horse’d tour. “Council World” features standout tracks “Nevaland” and “Dick in Da Dope” but saves its best for last with the final track “Decemba (Remix).” With its classic 808 drum kit beat and light synth chords behind $ilk Money rapping one of the tape’s strongest verses, the song already makes its claim as the hottest on the project, but a verse from Andre 3000 in the last minute and a half of the song sets it over the top. Divine Council hits you with clever, irreverent bars and playful, yet hard hitting beats that leave the listener with a fresh new sound, and the 3 Stacks cosign only further solidifies the group’s status as an exciting core of young talent that we should all be looking out for in 2017.
— Alex Silva, Contributing Writer
Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau
Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau, a contemporary jazz duo unlike any other in the history of the form, are arguably two of the most underrated figures in classical and jazz music. Chris Thile, a child prodigy musician is a mandolinist who released his first album at the age of 12 in 1994. Mehldau is a jazz pianist and classical composer who has been working at the intersection of jazz and rock for decades now. These two musicians recently collaborated to create a mandolin and piano-driven jazz album, an instrumental combo which is incredibly powerful.
The self titled album is a mesmerizing and restrained exploration of blues chords, swing piano beats and lush harmonics. While the landscape of contemporary jazz has moved toward a far more synth and electronic based sound — such as Thundercat or Flying Lotus — the organic atmosphere of these songs retain a very classic feel.
— Faraz Rizvi, Arts & Entertainment Editor