singer Nola Adé seated on the floor with a brown backdrop behind her
Nola Adé Credit: Courtesy the artist

For the better part of a decade, Chicago native Nola Adé has released standout music, including her 2016 debut EP, The Love Dance, and a smattering of well-received singles on which she wrapped her luxurious voice around popping, radio-ready Afro-soul production. (Gossip Wolf remains especially partial to her track “Make Move,” a booming love song that somehow didn’t immediately become a worldwide dance floor smash when it dropped in 2021.) On Friday, April 14, the Nigerian American singer will finally put out her long-awaited second EP, Royal; last week she released the single and video for the EP’s title track, an anthemic ode to affirmation and self-love that seems destined to bring her to a vastly wider audience.

YouTube video
The video for the 2021 single “Make Move” was directed and edited by Francis Polo.

In his 2021 piece about the Jefferson Park EXP concert series and netlabel Pan Y Rosas Discos, the Reader’s Noah Berlatsky described the music of noise artist Helena Ford as “sometimes crystalline and lovely, sometimes hammering and painful, evoking a process that seems to go on forever.” Since then, Ford has remained so dizzyingly productive that her Bandcamp page is among this wolf’s most refreshed websites; she seems to update it with choice new music every few days. This month alone, Ford has dropped three distinct albums that reckon with a breathtaking array of moods and tonalities: Improvisation for Hardware, which sounds like being inside an ancient and slowly dying clock; Music for Installations, which Ford describes as “an aleatoric thought exercise; recorded for an imagined art exhibit;” and I’m Barely Here, “written for our fallen brothers, sisters, and every other victim of institutionalized violence on the basis of their gender / gender expression.” Ford, herself a trans musician, will donate all proceeds from I’m Barely Here to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute and the Transgender, Gender-Variant, & Intersex Justice Project, aka TGI Justice.

In November, west-side rapper Philmore Greene dropped his full-length collaboration with celebrated Detroit producer Apollo Brown, Cost of Living; it’s one of Gossip Wolf’s favorite local hip-hop releases of 2022. On Saturday, March 18, the duo belatedly celebrates the album by performing it in its entirety at Bourbon on Division. Veteran NYC rapper Skyzoo headlines; Rashid Hadee, IAmGawd, and Anereaus Haley also perform. Tickets are $30; doors open at 8 PM.

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