New Jams Thursday: The Shadowboxers and Andra Day

This week’s New Jams Thursday songs do not have any oblivious connections; they are just two really solid tunes. The Shadowboxers’ “Hot Damn,” and Andra Day’s “Stand Up for Something,” which features Common.

The Shadowboxers are a trio of singers (Scott Tyler, Matt Lipkins, and Adam Hoffman) who met in Atlanta Georgia and started making music together in 2008. The group is signed to Justin Timberlake‘s  Villa 40 music group.

They’ve been working with Timberlake to develop their sound and there are parts of “Hot Damn,” which definitely sounds Justin inspired. The beat is rhythmic and light, and toe tap-worthy from the opening piano cords.

A song at its core that ponders one of humanities greatest questions; why does love have such a powerful effect on us? Hot Damn! skillfully uses two reframes that create a call and response pattern.

The verses start with, If it is only love and the chorus responses with I can’t help it.

This tried and true technique keeps the Hot Damn! moving right up to the end.

The Shadowboxers are on Twitter @theshadowboxers. They’re currently touring the trio will make a stop in DC on November 12 at the U Street Music Hall.

Andra Day’s style and sound trigger strange comparisons to late greats like Amy Winehouse and Eartha Kitt. What those lazy shorthand comparison miss is Andra Day is unique dispute some of her retro qualities.

I had the privilege of hearing Day’s biggest hit to date “Rise Up” for the first time live during 2015 Essence Festival. Before that incredible song ended I knew it find a home on workout playlists and other places where inspiration was needed.

Stand Up for Something” is a message song similar to Rise Up where Andra’s beautiful voice is parried with powerful song lyrics. Written by Diane Warren and Common who contributes a verse the song is a full on call to action.  From the opening verse, Day sings:

“You can have all the money in your hands,

All the possessions anyone can ever have,

But it’s all worthless treasure,

True worth is only measured not by what you got,

But what you got in your heart,

You can have, you can have everything,

But what does it, what does it mean.”

Stand Up For Something seems is the lead single from the soon to be released Thurgood Marshall bio picture starting Chadwick Boseman. Marshall, who well before rising to national prominence as the lead attorney for the landmark case Brown vs. The Board of Education of

Topeka was known as a fierce defender of the overlooked and downtrodden. A song about the need for each of us to come to the defense of others seems more than appropriate. During these difficult days were natural and man-made disasters all around us this song is a reminder that at moments like this we need to choice compassion.

Marshall will be released nation wide on October 13th. You can keep track of all things Andra Day at her website: http://andraday.com/?page=news

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