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Hear new songs by Spoon, Janelle Monáe, Libianca, Kara Jackson, Sid Sriram, and Deer Tick

Music You Should Know: Janelle Monáe
Music You Should Know: Janelle MonáeMason Rose; MPR graphic

by Jade

May 18, 2023

This week, we bring you new music from Spoon, Deer Tick, and Janelle Monáe, who has announced a new album coming in June. Also hear the latest from Kara Jackson, Sid Sriram, and Minnesota artist Libianca.

Spoon, “Sugar Babies”

You can’t say that Spoon don’t give their fans what they want. After releasing Lucifer On The Sofa last year, they released an album of remixes and now have a trio of songs they are releasing from those recording sessions that didn’t make it onto the album. The Memory Dust EP will feature a Bo Diddley cover, “She’s Fine, She’s Mine,” and two originals, including “Sugar Babies.”

Janelle Monáe, “Lipstick Lover”

Janelle Monáe has covered her feelings of being an outsider with a trio of albums following an android robot, she’s gotten political, and now, she’s feeling herself and celebrating herself. It’s joyful and expressive music that’s blatantly sexual and confidently sensual. Hints of tropicalia and reggae make it sound like Monáe is on a vacation and living her best life.

Libianca, “People”

Minnesota artist Libianca just hit the Billboard Hot 100 chart with her single “People (Check On Me).” She’s got alternate versions of the song with hit makers Becky G. and Ayra Starr, but the true star is Libianca and her visceral honesty. It’s a song that shows off a thoughtful Cameroonian-American singer, bringing Afrobeats and a request for her friends to check in on her to make sure she’s OK.

Kara Jackson, “pawnshop”

Poetry delivered in the sweet spot of folk and soul, Kara Jackson writes with honesty and cuts in with deep cuts. Starting piano at the age of five and later teaching herself guitar and winning accolades for her poetry (she was the 2019 National Youth Poet Laureate), her latest single, “pawnshop,” covers the transactional nature of love and our own personal value.

Sid Sriram, “Do The Dance”

R&B musician Sid Sriram was born in India and raised in America and brings those worlds together in his music. His new music covers the Indian Diasporic experience in America, and Sriram says “Do The Dance” was about “deep longing to find and exist in spaces that feel like honest, open, clear, warm, liberating breaths of fresh air.” Local connections come in as Sriram came to Minnesota to make the record with Minneapolis producer Ryan Olson and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon.

Deer Tick, “Forgiving Ties”

Jangly and classically American sounding music from Deer Tick on “Forgiving Ties,” the Providence, Rhode Island, group has a new album out June 16, called Emotional Contracts. The album “is like a little deal you make with yourself (a contract if you will). Much of the material focuses on the fight to survive. A timely coincidence with all the COVID lockdowns and canceled shows...or perhaps all of that was subconscious inspiration. But here we are; Deer Tick lives to see another day."