With the release of its sophomore album, Leaves, Sidewalk Chalk continues to lead the contemporary evolution of hip-hop, soul, and jazz. The band’s roots are firmly planted in Chicago, where all eight members bring their respective talents together to update a sound first heralded in the Native Tongues era but never so musically diverse. The group’s unique arrangement allows them to incorporate numerous styles seamlessly: an MC and female vocalist; a trio of keys, bass, and drums; a horn section with trombone and trumpet; and a tap dancer. In contrast to the band's 2012 debut release, Corner Store, this new album finds the group venturing into a grittier space and capitalizing on a subtle approach that is at times hauntingly beautiful. Leaves represents change, both the loss of something dear and the excitement of exploring something new.
After sharing stages with artists from Action Bronson, Big K.R.I.T., Cam’ron, Wu-Tang Clan, and Prodigy of Mobb Deep, among others, and the release her critically praised mix tapes Beauty vs. the Beast and Married to the Music, Dutch ReBelle saw the love come from all angles. ReBelle was part of the Boston Phoenix’s Freshmen Hip-Hop Class, awarded Best Artist at the Fab Empire’s Fab Awards, and won Best Female—Hip-Hop at the 2011 New England Urban Music Awards, along with Best Group—Hip-Hop for her work with the group Famous Nobodies. ReBelle has been popping up and solidifying herself as a fierce performer with a spot on the national radar with performances at major annual festivals such as A3C, the Brooklyn Hip-Hop festival, and the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.
In 2008 Kiernan McMullan signed his first record deal with Warner Brothers' sub label 111 records. These days, you'll find McMullan with a van and an impressive musical resume, having shared stages with acts such as Sheryl Crow, Colbie Callait, Sublime, Meg and Dia, and the Proclaimers, to name just a few. With his full-length record, Perfect People Are Boring, and his more recent acoustic EP, The Best Part, both released to a very enthusiastic grassroots following, the anticipation is building to hear his newest record, Common Sense, recorded in July 2014.
Watch Sidewalk Chalk's official video of "Grocery List" here: