Over the past decade or so, soul music has seen an incredible resurgence in popularity thanks to the hard work and efforts of the folks at NYC’s monthly Dig Deeper party, a monthly party that paris DJs playing old school soul with long-forgotten old-timers and contemporary soul acts; the folks at Daptone Records, who have released the work of the incredible Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Charles Bradley, Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens, and others; the folks at G.E.D Soul Records, who have released the work of the great DeRobert and the Half Truths, the Sky-Hi Funk Band, the powerful AJ and the Jiggawatts and others; the folks at Truth and Soul Records, who have released the most recent work by Lee Fields and the Expressions; as well as several online soul radio broadcasts. Of course, we can’t forget the other, new, contemporary acts who have followed suit and taken up the soul sound and that seems to increase on a daily basis.
I would certainly suspect that soul’s current resurgence is in some way a rejection of contemporary mainstream pop, which to many people sounds even more prefabricated, processed and standardized than ever before – to the point that countless artists sound almost exactly the same. What’s the difference between let’s say a Brittney Spears, Taylor Swift, or some other hot young pop starlet of the moment? Not much, really.
In any case, I was recently put on to a singer/songwriter by the name of Destani Wolf. The Berkley, CA-rased and Los Angeles-based artist’s forthcoming Peek Away EP is comprised of material that draws on blues, r&b and soul, and in a way that reminds me quite a bit of Chicago’s The Right Now. In fact much like The Right Now’s vocalist, Stefanie Berecsz, Wolf lyrically and vocally expresses an inner strength and determination; in other words, they’re not women, who will bullshit and fuck around with nonsense, and there’s a sense of a “tell it how it really is” demeanor that’s powerful and – well, real as hell as you’ll hear on “Why Should I Stay?”