ROUNDUP: New Sounds, New Names

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Time once again to spotlight some new names here, artists who have been unduly slept on. This month we’ve got three talented young emcees growing serious catalogs, and one group from the NEK dropping their debut album…four months ago. Maybe a better name for this series would be “The Late Pass” — either way, let’s get to it.

First up, a new project from Freddie Losambe. “Safe Spaces” is charming and funky stuff. Losambe is a thoughtful and earnest writer. He’s deeply personal, endlessly creative, and very dope. He’s also been at it for awhile, so if you dig this, his whole catalog is worth diving into. His Year of Singles Project documents a lot of artistic and technical growth, and the Dismal EP was especially good headphone food.

Up next, Rivan C, a young man of many talents and an earnest practitioner of conscious rap. Not a lot of heads are citing both J. Cole and Gil Scott-Heron as influences these days — and not a lot of rappers have websites this nice, either. Clearly this cat is off to a good start. You can also check him out live on November 15th for 3rd Thursdays at the Monkey House in Winooski, which promises to be another great one.

Tiger Fire Company No. 1 is hella decent rap name, first of all. They’re a young crew from the NEK — the Vermont of Vermont, for anyone unfamiliar — and their debut, “East Kingdom,” is a tribute to those mountains. Tonally, it’s all over the place, but there is a lot of talent and promise on tap here. Props for putting Lyndon on the map, too.

Finally, let’s cruise over to Morrisville to check in with STILTZgang affiliate DZY. He dropped “Werewolf Stench” less than an hour after I finished up the roundup of Halloween projects, and it’s a pity, because this track is pretty hot, bud. DZY goes in here, and at some length, too. If you’re digging this, check out his recent EP, The Missing Peace. STILTZgang is shaping up to be a solid unit — props to Colby Stiltz for having the vision, but props especially to these young cats taking their craft seriously.

If you missed it, check out the New Sounds from October.

Justin Boland