Kansas City, Kan., resident Nicole Springer is releasing her latest project, a six-song EP titled Willing, on Nov. 10. This is a wonderful rock alternative album with hints of folk and a strong ’90s vibe. Springer’s voice is incredible. That is definitely the strongest and most noticeable aspect of the EP, but it’s highlighted by the strong backing of her fellow bandmates. Both the composition and the recording show professionalism. This is not Springer’s first rodeo. I saw her perform several years ago at the Human Rights Campaign Battle of the Bands. She was fantastic then, and she has since grown in her song-writing. Being able to perform live is an important test for a musician, and I can’t wait to hear these songs on the stage. In a world filled with autotuned voices and musical faults covered up by too many synthesizers, it’s nice to see a good group of musicians depending on nothing but their own instruments and each other’s timing.
My favorite song on the album is “Come Clean,” which showcases Springer’s vocal range. Everyone knows that high notes can be difficult, but low notes can be some of the hardest for many people. Springer does both with grace. As far as lyrics go, my favorite song is “I’ll Never Be a Bitter Woman,” mostly because of its positive message. I know I need a reminder to avoid being bitter sometimes, and overall, the song is great. The entire album is stellar. You can catch her band live at 7 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Listening Room at InterUrban ArtHouse, 8001 Newton St., Overland Park, Kan., for the EP’s release show. Tickets: https://www.interurbanarthouse.org/listeningroom.
“Hit the Doja” single
Jay Cee hails from Kansas City, Mo. At age 26, he’s an up-and-coming rapper who has been honing his craft since the fourth grade. “Hit the Doja” is his latest release, and it will be featured on his unreleased fifth demo album. The release date hasn’t been set, but the song will be out in the next few months. Jay Cee told me that one of the things that he thinks sets this project apart from his past releases is that the level of storytelling is stronger. If this single is any indication, then that rings true. “Hit the Doja” is excellent, and it makes me excited about any future releases. Jay Cee is an artist that rap fans will want to start following now so they can see his career grow. To watch the video of the single, follow him on Instagram at Jay93est or his YouTube channel, Ceilings1993jx.
“Harleys In Hawaii” single
This is hands-down the best single that Katy Perry has released in several years. It’s hard for me to pinpoint why I haven’t been Perry’s biggest fan lately, but whatever she lost, she seems to have found again. To me, she was trying too hard on her last album, Witness. It grew old quickly. This single is vastly different. It has great pacing and doesn’t feel rushed in the least. The beat and the guitar melody blend well with the bass line. It almost has a Lana Del Rey vibe, but without the vocals. It’s tropical in a similar way, sexy, and a bit morose. It has some slight R&B influences, but it’s still very much a pop song. I’m keeping this one on my newest playlists and adding her to my radar once again. I hope she stays on this path because it’s working.