I’m really feeling all the r&b and hip hop out in the city these days, and there’s enough of it across the spectrum to satisfy anybody with the hint of a craving to check some out. On this week’s SOUND CHECK we take a look at Tuesday at The National, where rising superstar Teddy Swims will be blasting his passionate and varied new record just released a few days ago. However, if the big shots aren’t your scene, then you can slip into the underground at The Camel Monday for a showcase of hot local talent. After you’ve got your fill there, two local artists just dropped their new tunes, so with all this stellar talent out and about you should everything you need to get your fill of Richmond music this week.
If you’ve got new tunes, questions and/or comments send an email to email@example.com
out of town Acts to see
Fresh of the release of his debut album I’ve Tried Everything But Therapy (Part 1), Teddy Swims is on fire. Though he has just the one record to his name and has only been releasing music since 2019, the 30 year old musician from Atlanta has garnered more than 6,000,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. Swims’ recently released album is full-proof and self-actualized r&b with energy to spare and personality pouring out of every track. Swims shows himself capable of multi-level gymnastics by the sheer scope and range of musical and thematic ideas. From high energy emotional highs in tracks like “Lose Control,” to contemplative sweet tunes like “Evergreen” Swims is a new generation artist with a will to work, and the skill to back up his prolific release schedule that only just now produced it’s first full length record. Keep your eyes on Teddy Swims in the coming years.
My favorite tracks from I’ve Tried Everything But Therapy (Part 1)
- “What More Can I Say”
Local & Regional Acts to See
Another artist fresh off their recent album release, Tyler Donovan is here to lay out his story for you. We talked about Donovan a few weeks ago right after he released his record, so if you missed that you can check it out here, but now he’s coming up the peninsula to play his new music for Richmond and all to hear. A truly inspiring individual, Donavan, after overcoming an emergency that left him in a wheelchair and temporary paralyzed, is on his feet and ready to show you what he’s capable of. He’ll be playing alongside great local acts like Boris The Lucid and Ashlee White among many others, so it’s going to be a packed night full of central Virginia’s favorite rappers that you will not want to miss.
I thought I’d include a name in here so that those without the love for r&b and hip hop will have something to chew on. We took a look at the new track “Blood From Saints” by Tight Rope a few weeks ago which you can see here, but in case you’re not familiar let me fill you in. Originally called Blunt, the group made two EPs before changing their name to Tight Rope and turning over a new leaf. Their one single they have released with the new name has garnered more streams on Spotify than any of their previous music did under the name Blunt — whatever else they changed, it’s working. Care to figure out what they’re all about? Check them out this Thursday at The Camel.
Local & Regional Releases
Can I go again? (Album)
It’s time that you hear about Benét. Though based out Brooklyn at this time, Benét claims Richmond as home and has just put out their debut album titled Can I go again?, couple that with a a video produced by Hourglass Sessions, and anyone can see that Benét is a hot ticket. A black, trans, non-binary artist, Benét embarks on an emotional journey before the audiences very eyes in this release that plunges into the depths of youth culture exploring themes such as identity and personal failure. Undeniably rooted in modern r&b with the customary beats and electric piano, Benét’s voice stands as a highlight with their subtle and buttery mid range vocals that seems to come rolling from off their tongue as effortlessly as if they were reading the newspaper. From the laid back introspection of “Overpowering” to the towering heights of the guitar solo in “If It Happens Again,” Can I go again? is a record worth your time and then some.
My favorite tracks Can I go again?
- “No Alarm”
Kids At Play
Where Ya From?
We recently did a deep dive on this group as well, and they’re signing with a major record label, but in case you’re still not hip, Kids At Play simply can’t be stopped. A hip-hop collective of numerous creatives of every kind, Kidz At Play represent a community supporting each other in a world that does not value artists, so they decided to value each other. Their track is only the beginning as Kidz At Play almost certainly have numerous recordings coming down the pipeline, but for now you can get your fix with “Where Ya From?” and wait for their next album to drop.
Top photo courtesy of Teddy Swims