The Whiffs, Ms. Jaylin Brown, Palm Palm and Saint Samuel: This Week’s RVA Mag Sound Check

by | May 15, 2023 | MUSIC

As the weekly festivities of Friday Cheers take a breather, Richmond’s music scene beats on, undeterred. This interlude offers an ideal backdrop for the city’s die-hard music fans to explore the local talent that usually plays second fiddle to the big guns over at Brown’s Island. Across the city, an eclectic mix of sounds seep out from various venues, filling each night with a unique energy. Whether you’re trying to salvage a deserted Tuesday night or in search of a killer weekend lineup, the Richmond music scene has got you sorted.

In this week’s SOUND CHECK, we dive into a midweek gig bustling with artists from far and wide. We spotlight a Richmond musician reconnecting with her roots, and a mysterious yet indefatigable artist who never seems to run out of fresh material.

If you’re an artist who’s got new tunes, press releases, or suggestions, we’re all ears. Shoot an email to Bones at bones@rvamag.com.

OUT OF TOWN ACTS TO SEE

THE WHIFFS

Although Tuesday night might not be the first time to come to mind when you think about seeing live music, some of us can’t get enough of a fix and will seek it out any night of the week. If your Tuesday is free then by all means go out to The Fuzzy Cactus on May 16th for a whirlwind of music from all over the Eastern United States. Ibex Clone from Memphis will be bringing a classic jangly shoegaze sound, and New York based Flavour will provide the riff based rock and roll. Local favorites Toward Space round out the bill with their heavy alt/punk, and headlining the night will be The Whiffs from Kansas City. Something of a pop band with a punk attitude (identifying themselves as “power pop”), The Whiffs released their third album Scratch and Sniff – yes, all their albums have smell based puns – back in March and it blew me away with its intelligent song structure, tight harmonies, and catchy hooks. 

My favorite tracks from Scratch and Sniff

  • “Don’t Know What Else To Do”
  • “Tired of Romance”

LOCAL & REGIONAL ACTS TO SEE

MS. JAYLIN BROWN

Those of you who know Ms. Jaylin Brown have probably seen her playing her mellow, guitar driven R&B around town. However, depending on how long you’ve been following her, you might be surprised to find out that Brown was actually trained as a classical vocalist at VCU. It is exciting to see a musician indulge all aspects of repertoire of skills, even if at first it might appear a little off brand. If you want to see Ms. Jaylin Brown do her thing, then head down to River Road Baptist Church May 19th at 7PM for a recital of classical and contemporary pieces.

SHAGWUF & PALM PALM

I caught western Virginia based Shagwuf at The Milestones release show last week, and they were a powerhouse. Pair them up with Palm Palm, who could not be on more of a roll, and you’re sure to have an absolutely chaotic show this Saturday at the Southern Cafe & Music Hall in Charlottesville. Although Palm Palm only have out one EP, they are a hot ticket right now having just opened for The Killers in Gary, Indiana last week. Their self-titled release from last year is three dynamic jams that shift from reggae influenced grooves to towering anthems reminiscent of Journey. Shagwuf have been around for about ten years now, and although it’s been a few years since their last release Dog Days of Disco back in 2020, I’ve heard from them that they’ve got new music coming soon. We’ll have more on Shagwuf soon.

My favorite track from Palm Palm

  • “Jungle Gender”

My favorite track from Dog Days of Disco

  • “Mouthbreather”

LOCAL & REGIONAL MUSIC RELEASES

SAINT SAMUEL

I don’t know much about this mysterious solo artist, but was shocked by his dream pop style when I caught him open for Sub-Radio last year at The Canal Club. This guy has been pumping out tunes nonstop since he first started releasing under the name back in early 2021, and shows no signs of slowing down. His new EP Nervous, Anxious, and Sad is four dream pop tunes with an intro that holds together nice and tight. Although it came out back in March, Saint Samuel will be celebrating the release officially this Wednesday May 17th at Vagabond. Stop in to say high to this fan of the Oxford comma, and catch some pop tunes if you’re not a fan of the heavier stuff.

My favorite track from Nervous, Anxious, and Sad.

  • Quarter-Life Crisis

Top photo by Curtis Wayne Millard

Andrew Bonieskie

Andrew Bonieskie

But you may call me Bones. I'm the Associate Editor of RVA Mag, and a writer and musician living in Richmond, Virginia. After graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in music and a minor in creative writing I have gone on to score feature and short films, released a book of poetry, an album of original music, and perform lead vocals with the band Pebbles Palace.




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