Washington D.C.’s music scene is vibrant and constantly evolving, new collaborations and new perspectives cropping up all the time. We’ve surveyed the local scene and put together a snapshot of three of our favorite new tracks from D.C. artists, with everything from horn-driven summer jams to sarcastic power pops to instrumental Americana.
DuPont Brass feat. La’Vonne: “Summer Vibes”
Long-running 10-piece supergroup DuPont Brass are a major keystone of the D.C. music scene, having appeared at the DC Jazz Festival, The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage and beyond, blending jazz, R&B and hip-hop into a cohesive whole. Their soulful, horn-driven sound is perfect warm weather music, and they fully embrace the summer jam with their newest single, “Summer Vibes,” a track tailor-made for BBQs and pool parties. Featuring guest vocalist La’Vonne and production by Ant, who doubles as the group’s musical director, it’s a song that sounds like the first really nice day of summer, full of exuberant horn blasts and plush harmonies. It will stay with you all summer long and beyond, conjuring memories of good times with close friends well after the temperature drops. dupontbrass.com // @dupontbrass
Sansyou: “Will I Dream?”
Guitar-driven instrumental collective Sansyou crafts texturally rich, cinematic songs that you’ll want soundtracking your next road trip. Past Sansyou releases have been more atmospheric leaning, eschewing percussion for a more free-flowing sense of drift, but their latest EP, “True North Coast,” features a propulsive rhythm section, including programming by Scott Gould, bass from Michael Blank and Failure drummer Kelli Scott on the kit. The album’s second track, “Will I Dream?” is a standout piece of Møtrik post-rock, bringing to mind the groundbreaking work of Neu!’s Michael Rother and the cosmic Americana of William Tyler. The sound of waves crashing bookends the track, recalling the New Age textures of the recently culturally reappraised Windham Hill record label, lending a vivid sense of the environment. sansyou.bandcamp.com // @sansyoumusic
Cinema Hearts: “Your Ideal”
Caroline Weinroth, front person of indie rockers Cinema Hearts, spent years on the beauty pageant circuit, competing for Miss Virginia among other titles, before pivoting to focus on her music career. Her debut EP, “Your Ideal,” drops later this month, and is informed by her experiences competing in pageants. The sardonic title track channels the alienation and depersonalization of the pageant world, an irony-drenched version of the performance and artifice of the whole ordeal. Over a ’90s slacker rock wall of guitars she howls, “I wanna be your ideal/My favorite woman is the one that’s not real,” a sarcastic appeal to the faceless masses who project their expectations onto these women. “Your Ideal” features production from hometown hero Bartees Strange, who also plays guitar and synth throughout the EP. As a debut single, “Your Ideal” is a clear statement of purpose that perfectly sets the stage for what’s to come from Cinema Hearts. cinemahearts.com // @cinema_hearts
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