[Interview] TMN Gets To Know Zach Maxwell

It’s no secret that unearthing new and exciting artists is the main vein running through the pages of TMN. Sometimes an album strikes you just the right way, providing our ears with a dose of dopamine, while also signalling a wealth of untapped potential. One such artist and album is Zach Maxwell and his recent Music for Life EP. A songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Maxwell’s music manages to flit around the edges of multiple genres while offering a completely unique scope to listen through. Recently, Maxwell has been converting his recordings into a live setting behind a highly buzzed about residency in Denver at the eclectic Your Mom’s House venue; building loads of Mile-High hype over the past year.

Zach Maxwell will be playing the final show of his residency this Saturday, June 16th at Your Mom’s House, and we had the chance to sit down and get to know the burgeoning artist a little better before this weekend’s show. Read our interview with Maxwell below, and be sure to listen to Music For Life streaming on all major platforms.

The Music Ninja: First off, thanks so much for taking the time to sit down and chat with us a little bit. We’ve had the chance to listen to Music For Life a few times through, and more layers seem to reveal themselves with each passing listen. With this being your first official release more than a single, can you speak to the writing and recording process? Was your process any different trying to make a cohesive multi-track statement, or were things pretty routine when it came to getting the individual tracks in order for Music For Life?

Zach Maxwell: Thanks so much for the kind words about Music for Life! I’m glad that more and more layers are revealing themselves in subsequent listens.  It’s interesting, the process for making this EP was super nonlinear for me. Before I decided to release this EP, I spent a few years just making music that I wanted to listen to.  Just flowing with whatever vibe I was feeling on whatever day I happened to be making music. After a few years, I had 100’s of songs to choose from and realized it was probably time to put some of them out in the world! In listening to all the material I had made, certain songs seemed to fit together as a unit more than others.  I wanted my first release to be something that was more of an offering to the listener as a complete unit with a message versus a bunch of songs that I happened to like and put together. Additionally, my friend and longtime music Veteran Jayson Jackson helped me curate the songs and put together something that worked together. So the process was more working backward than thinking from the get-go that I was going to put a collection of music together.

’Zach Maxwell – Are You?’

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Sunday Night Soul [Vol. 61]

This week saw the release of two incredible projects from the likes of Jorja Smith and Kids See Ghosts. If you’re anything like us, then your ears have been glued to these albums all weekend long–which also means you likely may have overlooked some other incredible gems that just surfaced. No need to worry though, as we’ve got you covered with an incredible selection of soulful tracks below. As always, you can also find our playlists on SoundCloud and Spotify, so make sure to follow us to get regular weekly updates.

Playlist Links:

SoundCloud || Spotify || Spotify Archive

Rad Hatter – Dangerous w/ still haze
Kadhja Bonet – Delphine
lulunah – Not The Same(prod. Strehlow)
michelle – natsumeku
Ayelle x Alex Lustig – Body
griff – Spaceship (ft. Lexi the Lexiconist)
Tierra Whack – Flea Market
Jessica Domingo – Outline
Khalid, H.E.R. – This Way
Sinead Harnett – Body (Acoustic)
Vancouver Sleep Clinic & Drew Love – Closure (Acoustic)
diveliner — 2 hearts
VILLETTE – Money (prod. Troy Samuela)
Saya – Vertigo (Interlude)
RACHEL FOXX – WRONG
Jorja Smith – On Your Own
Full Crate – A Storm On A Summers Day Ft. Gaidaa
Mack Keane – Scorpio
Ash – Lover Friend
ChrisLee – Found Her
Nikon – Right Now
Deverano – Jean (feat. AV)
SuperShaiyen – Let Me Know
ForteBowie – loveliesrmx
THEY. – Pops
Allen Ritter – Temporary (No Love)
Zaia – Judas (Prod. Blumajic)
MOLI – Didn’t Mean to
rx Soul – I Was on a Trip (feat. The Kount)
ZENDR – Could Be
tiffi 🌺 – remedy (tiffi x city girl)
GREGarious – Sticks & Stones (feat. Akacia)
LimRinse – How It Goes
Masego – Lady Lady
Devin Tracy x Evil Needle – Give it Back
yù yī – PEACHES (ft. Ellen)
Kali Uchis – After The Storm (Pete Rock Remix) (feat. Tyler, The Creator & Bootsy Collins)
Radiant Children – Life’s A Bitch
benny mayne – say my name
Ruchir – Love Me Ft. JThaMC
Andrew Luce – GET AWAY (feat. Indica & Sophie Meiers)
Roy Woods — Snow White
Jay Stones – Wand
Silk Cinema – NO MORE
Louis Futon – Kevin’s Heart Ft. Bellah, BXRBER & Armani White
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Sunday Night Soul [Vol. 60]

As another weekend flies by, we’re here to help you hit pause and slow things down to reflect a bit. It’s hard to believe we’ve been keeping this Sunday Night Soul revival going 10 weeks strong already, but we hope you’ve enjoyed the ride just as much as we have so far. If you’re curious to check out some of our previous offerings from this year, you might want to poke around our 2018 archive on Spotify at the link below. You can also follow us on SoundCloud and Spotify to get weekly updates directly in your feed as the playlist goes live.

Playlist Links:

SoundCloud || Spotify || Spotify Archive

Ian Ewing – Willow (ft. Yasmeena)
Chloe Lilac – acne
Tom Bailey — Patriarch
Elyah – Lost Love (feat. Josh Rubin)
Wednesday – Rendezvous (Prod. by ENT)
ward wills – sweet mirage (ft. FAWNA)
Marcella – Occupied ft. Jords
emma kiel – THINKING TOO MUCH (prod. jennejenne)
Madson Project. – I Just Wanna Smile (prod. Masked Man)
cresce – WINE (prod. by cresce & custody)
Vada – Meant to Be (produced by j.robb)
PUP – Stay With U(W/Ripley)
Clairo – Hello? (feat. Rejjie Snow)
Nick Hakim – Vincent Tyler
jhon myquale – The Jones, The Jane Ft. Matt James
James Vickery – Until Morning
Guthrie Galileo – Wishes
Jerome Thomas & Warren Xclnce – Take The Risk
baccyard – STRANGER
EKANY – CPR
Tera Kòrá – pistols w/ Paul Mond
Ojerime – Moisturise
Sara Diamond – Fool (Prod. by Brody Gillman)
BLAISE – Only Talking
J.O.Y – 547 (prod. by HEARTBRK)
Eric Bellinger – Hours
TYuS – City Of Rose
PLANET GIZA – Attention
Charlie Puth – Done For Me (ft. Kehlani)(soulecist Remix)
No2zcat X Sutt. – Falling (ft. Hyungsun)
salute – Skin (f. THE DIAMONDS ARE BLACK!)
AME ARDAI – Blue
K, Le Maestro – why you watchin’ me? w/ Claire Reneé
Devin Morrison — That’s All
Kelsey Vaz – Change Directions (Ft. Keats The Geek)
Amber
Simone – Think About Girls Sometimes
Liv Lovelle – Special
Rozie – Brown Sugar
Moods – Get To Know You Feat. Pip Millett
HYPERCOLOR – Luv The Way (feat. Myca)
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Sunday Night Soul [Vol. 59]

Everybody knows the best Sundays are the ones where you don’t have to go to work the next morning. Since it is a long weekend, we decided to give you an extra long edition of Sunday Night Soul to match. With Memorial Day signaling a shift in seasons, you’ll notice a number of tracks in this week’s playlist appropriately featuring the word “summer” in their titles. We’re not expecting to soundtrack your barbecues this weekend, but if you need a few tracks to set the mood we’ve got you covered. Check out our selection below, and make sure to follow us on SoundCloud and Spotify to get regular updates every week!

Playlist Links:

SoundCloud || Spotify || Spotify Archive

Melo
Zed – 11am feat. Dani Sofiya
jsng – lost the project for this last year
Monsoonsiren – Man Of The Cloth (Prod. Laplace)
Amanda Huff – Slow Water(Feat. SistaStrings)
Jess – The One. (prod. by ZeekyBeats)
Madson Project. & Your Bijou – If You Want Me
Elijah Fox – Marseilles (Acoustic)
ward wills – whisper (ft. eunhae)
Summer Walker – Deep
Kwamie Liv – Sweet Like Brandy
Sunni (Colón) – Summer Blu
LOUIS VI. – Floatin’ Ft. Jelani Blackman (Prod. Louis VI)
angelo mota – Madonna
Kyan – Like Summer
Sam Spiegel – 20 Below (feat. Anderson .Paak & Doja Cat)
sophie meiers ☏ – fade away ( sophie meiers x lederrick + holt stairs)
Shaqdi – Wanna See You High
Maya Hirasedo – Cocaine
cucu 回顧 – white lies (feat. Jenni Potts)
olive b – joey moon
Kaiya Crawford – Working For It (prod. by Ashton McCreight and Sean Matsukawa)
Riian Raquel – leveler (prod. moflo music)
Brandon Banks – Autumn
Jorja Smith – February 3rd
Lyves – Still
kerri – fml
Rahn Harper – For You/For Me (Prod. Charley Cooks)
Leven Kali – Need U (Prod. Leven Kali, Frans Mernick, Diego Human)
JULiA LEWiS – Pink and Blue (ft. DUCKWRTH, BOSCO, and Jay Anthony)
Sola Rosa – Back To You ft. Noah Slee (Potatohead People Remix)
Oscar Key Sung – Club Mate
Eliza – Alone & Unafraid
Casper Jones – Jupiter
verzache – No more
Summer Soul – Kill Your Darling (with Charming Lips)
Jay Prince – With U (feat. Mahalia)
MARC E. BASSY – HALL OF FAME
Madson Project. & Adriana Proenza – A Summer Feeling (prod. masked man)
Elujay – Locked in
AZEKEL – Good Wine
Elley Duhé – AIN’T NO FEELING
Naji – Misfit
The Trp – Swoop
Haich – Peak
Rex The Rager – Amanda Bynes
FORTY38 – Pulling Strings (prod. datboigetro)
Dugong Jr – Voyager (Feat. Ruby Chase)
Snugs, HAILZ – Radio Silence (Finis Mundi Remix)
bearson – go to sleep ft. kailee morgue (oshi remix)
RALPH – Girl Next Door ft TOBi
SRNO – Holding (feat. Kaleem Taylor)
yellow shoots – desert rose
Moon Boots – Keep the Faith (feat. Nic Hanson) (Live)
MEERA – Fine Without You
Paul Point – I Thought (feat. Galvanic)
Element – You (ft. Khamari)
SWU – Mulholland Drive (feat. Amy Kirkpatrick)
DJ IXSXI – Dance Like This
Jamie Blake And MistaDC – Vegas Girl
ECHLN – Do Your Thang (feat. Daev Martian & EMAMKAY)
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Sunday Night Soul [Vol. 58]

With the world fixated (or at least the internet) on the royal wedding happening this weekend, we here at The Music Ninja would like to toast to the happy couple by honoring their undying love. In the off chance that Prince Harry and Meghan do stumble across this humble playlist, we hope that we we’re able to help soundtrack their beautiful honeymoon. Don’t worry though, the common folk out there are always welcome to enjoy a little Sunday Night Soul as well. As always, check the lineup we have assembled below and make sure to follow us on Spotify and SoundCloud to get updates every week.

Playlist Links:

SoundCloud || Spotify || Spotify Archive

Lexi the Lexiconist – New Story
BOWTYE – quicksand (interlude)
splash downey – parasite w/ ben owens (prod. ryan reents)
brandon* – These Quiet Nights (feat. Sipprell)
Angelo LeRoi – Faaade
Giorgi Holiday – Internet Boyfriend
Jelani Aryeh – Daunt
Slum Sociable – Do Something About It
TeaMarrr – Bent Hella – (Prod by) Rilla Force
Alanna Aguiar – spring in blue
Hiram ft. John Allen Stephens – For Anou
Patrick Paige II – Red Knife (feat. Daisy)
Mulherin — Never Know
Brady Watt – Black & White (ft. Ro James & Topaz Jones)
Alex Da Kid – Go ft. H.E.R., Rapsody
Kllo – Potential
(Stoneface) – Honest This Time
plage 84 – no where ft. khadijah lopez
Strehlow 🌺 – Red Lights w/ Lussx
Kelleia – Majesty (Prod. Jonny Joon)
KYLO – Sometimes
Alex Lustig, Anjulie – The Morning
Vindata x R.LUM.R – Emotion
Haile Supreme – Let It Go (prod. by Khüdósoul & Flamingosis)
Pastel – Save Me
Blasko – Ms. Love
ORKID – So Rude
JiKay – Roses (feat. Cat Clark, MNKN) (Jengi Remix)
Louis Futon – Fall On Me (feat. BXRBER)
Cautious Clay – French Riviera
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Sunday Night Soul [Vol. 57]

We hope you all had a beautiful Mother’s Day today and showed appreciation for all the amazing moms out there. If you happened to drop the ball and didn’t remember to get a gift for your mom, we have you covered. She might be a little confused at first–we suggest at least getting her a card too–but we like to think that Sunday Night Soul is a perfect treat for any occasion. If for some reason she doesn’t appreciate your thoughtful gesture, well, at least you can say you tried, right? Check out this week’s lineup below, and as always make sure to follow us on Spotify and SoundCloud to get the playlist in your feeds every week.

Playlist Links:

SoundCloud || Spotify || Spotify Archive

JSPH – When You
Kurus – You (feat. YudN)
Rosehardt – Sunday
Trè Samuels – It’s Ok To Break Down
vicktor taiwò – blue Mountain ridge
Space Monk – I Can’t See World (Fronto Lvl 2)
Shaqdi – Obvious
Jessica Domingo – Honey Skies
Tavi Montelle – Outside Of Time
Pip Millett – Make Me Cry
Jordan Rakei – Wildfire
RubyFrancis – Heart Rate
Elujay – Starchild
Jean Deaux – Energy (prod. by ROMderful)
GeeJay – Vibrate
5 Reasons – Down On My Knees feat. Mystery Skulls (Pastel Remix)
vbnd – smoke feat. katie tupper
ANH & Sonn – Gold
sonn – mercy w/ ayelle
Gyles Bartle – You
Darci – On My Own
L8LOOMER – Count On Me(Ft. Banoffee)
Patrick Zappia & Clans – Underwater (LAVYSH Remix)
Rahmaan, Deverano, Dre Rodner – Heavenly
zodivk – yours (+)
Rainsford – Better Days
Cassette Tapes – Sugar Rush
GOVI – Tides (feat. Shanuka)
Alina Baraz – High (GREGarious x moydngo x DASU x kchu Edit)
Synead – Zenith
Amber
Simone – Trashed My Heart
Vanessa Elisha – Butter (Prod By. LOXE)
Líon Goodwin – beautiful love <3
weslee
Sweat Dreams
Dream Journal
Now Or Never (feat. ParisAlexa)
Brandyn Burnette
Layup
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[TMN Interview & Album Review] The Bones of J.R. Jones’ Third Studio Album: Ones to Keep Close

 

“Listening to music is a deeply personal experience and the way one interacts with any art reflects their past.”

 

There’s something distinctly recognizable about American music– whether it goes by blues, roots, Americana, or any similar moniker. Stylistically it’s always soulbaringly expository; a reflection of our rich history of diverse musical influences. There are always those creations that are unmistakably the product of America; sounds that capture the grit of the swampy south, the loneliness of our dusty highways, and the solitude in our mountains. In his third studio album Ones to Keep Close, The Bones of J.R. Jones manages to capture all of these sounds.

 

As the production of solo-artist Jonathon Linaberry, The Bones of J.R. Jones keeps alive the flavors of genres and styles long past their original heyday. In order to better understand the man and the process responsible, check out the interview below:

 

TMN: Can you tell me about some of your influences and what you’ve taken from each of them?


My influences range quite the spectrum… but if I had to pick a handful I would say Son House for his passion and, Springsteen for his melodies, and Tom Waits for his sense of theater.

TMN: If you could get into a room with any musician, contemporary or historic, to make a song, who would it be and why?

 

JL: It would be Howlin Wolf. Nobody can write a swinging blues riff like him.

TMN: You’ve been known to find solace and inspiration in your farmhouse in the Catskills. Can you tell us more about your creative process?

 

JL: There’s not much of a process. It’s more of just sitting still and turning [off] all computers and electronic devices. Forcing myself to do that and forcing myself to be stimulated in other ways is the best to get the creative juices flowing.

TMN: How did you come to acquire your distinctively American sound?

 

JL: Can’t say why that happened. I suppose it’s just the music I fell in love with growing up. You hear something and it resonates with you at moment. It creates an experience for you. That’s something that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

TMN: Were there any seminal moments in your life that influenced your musical ear?

 

JL: For sure, hearing Blind Lemon Jefferson in a dorm room my first year in college changed my trajectory. I wouldn’t be doing what I do now if I hadn’t stumbled in that room so many years ago.

TMN: How would you describe the Americana/blues/soul sound of today? (i.e. where’s the music coming from, what are the themes/messages)


JL: I think there’s a lot of different school of blues. Some try to stay true to their roots. I think that’s it’s own form of respect for where the blues came from. Other’s take what’s been done and try to innovate a bit… in my humble opinion many times that crashes and burns. There is the rare instance where someone comes across and something truly unique and it’s a success… but I feel like that’s few and far between.

TMN: When you aren’t creating music, what do you like to listen to? Any other genres or sounds that you’re a fan of?


JL: I listen to a lot of jazz. Roy Eldridge and Chet Baker is always in rotation these days.

TMN: On lead single “Burden”, you write that “it came out of a place where people search for someone to share the weight of the world”. How has emotional isolation, even loneliness, shaped you as a musician? As a person?

 

JL: It’s shaped quite a bit. I travel by myself. I play music by myself. Spending four weeks on the road by yourself can’t help but influence every facet of your life… socially, creatively or personally.

TMN: Is there a message behind Ones to Keep Close? What would you like to tell your friends as they listen to the album?

 

JL: There is no overall theme or message per se. The record as a whole was an attempt from me to try something a little new. To grow beyond my other records. As a result, it sounds bigger, fuller and hopefully a little more thoughtful. I don’t like telling people what to take away from my music. Listening to music is a deeply personal experience and the way someone interacts with any art reflects their past. If the music is any good it should creates it own theme with the listener. That’s what I hope to do.

Ones to Keep Close is a creation that blends together Linaberry’s diverse influences as a musician, while paying homage to the tenets and traditions of each. As Linaberry says during the interview, he stays true to his roots and his roots are his own– showing respect to his predecessors in the process. Though strictly a solo artist (playing every instrument) in the past, Linaberry incorporates the talents of his friends, artist Nicole Atkins and producer Rob Niederpruem for this latest production.

The whole album is orchestrated around making you feel something; loneliness, exuberance, energy. It has been described as a “stomp-along” experience, and the track titled “The Drop” certainly stands out in this regard. I envisioned hearing this song coming out of a jukebox in a dimly-lit bar on the side of a highway, as you hear the crack of a pool table in the back. “I See You”, a 180 bpm track that ups the album’s pace significantly, ends with classic-blues style triplets that conjure images of American muscle cars doing burnouts. The tracks “Please” and “Sister” employ the use of gospel-inspired call-and-response and hymnal organs, making you feel as though they should heard on the church bench. Ones to Keep Close sounds like the embodiment of American life and culture heard through the lens of music. As you listen to Linaberry’s latest album, think about what feelings the music invokes for you and how that could be a reflection of your past.

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