Abby Jeanne - Cosmic Beings

By: Stephanie Baghai

Milwaukee crooner Abby Jeanne has had an impressive year, and she shows no sign of slowing down. Fresh off her release earlier this summer, Abby has kept busy with consistent performances, trips abroad, and, now, an unexpected new song, "Cosmic Beings".

The track highlights the artist's musical growth and uses new influences not found in previous works. Cosmic Beings is a fuller, bigger production that uses a rock foundation while incorporating Indian undertones and backings. With a more well-rounded accompaniment, her powerhouse vocals shine through multi-layered elements that elevate her 60's classic sound into a rounchier and fiercer composition. Recorded and mixed with Daniel Holter from Wire & Vice, Abby Jeanne is using her experiences and influences to create consistently impressive works that showcase her growing talents. 

bello x knowsthetime - Rewind

We like the unheard of, the brand new. So naturally, we took to this track which features the vocals of bello, an artist from the Bay area that we will be happily call a silky-smooth soulful singer... and rapper! 'Rewind' is a vibe of a song that's a collaboration with Milwaukee producer and DJ knowsthetime, who provided a mellow, elegant background for bello's vocals. 

There's more purpose to this song than sound; it accompanies bello's release of her film and zine, 'Baraha': "a visual chapbook that follows her relationship with her family, her language, and belonging as a hyphenated identity". Preview the film, pre-order the zine. 

PREMIERE: BHAIRAV - Goku (ft. Heru)

Words by Evan Froiland

Making music is easier and more accessible than it's ever been, a fact that we at Explain greatly appreciate. Today, we bring you a track from BHAIRAV. The Madison-based producer (and UW-Madison student) is a New Jersey native that's relatively new to beat making, having started just last year. His work has paid off, carving out a sound all his own on the track 'Goku', a collaboration with Heru, a fellow UW-Madison attendee. The Oakland rapper is part of UW's First Wave hip-hop scholarship program.

BHAIRAV (left) and Heru (right). Image: Brigham Starks

BHAIRAV (left) and Heru (right). Image: Brigham Starks

The two complement each other quite well; 'Goku' is a definite head-bobber.  There's much more to come from both of them, including a full collaboration project, 'Son of the Moon', as well as Heru's upcoming self-produced effort, 'SkyLord'. You best keep tabs. 

Klassik - Mask Off (Klass On)

Back on our pages today is Klassik - Milwaukee’s wonderfully talented hip-hop/jazz vocalist and producer. Anyone with an internet connection has probably seen or heard at least a couple renditions of Future’s ‘Mask Off’, the Metro-Boomin produced hit. Klassik joined the trend with his own version, and it’s absolutely breathtaking. ‘Mask Off: Klass On’ showcases levels of musicianship and composition prowess that very few possess. To call it a creative masterpiece wouldn’t be overstated. Just press play.

Rob Knapp announces debut EP, drops first single

Despite having released just 2 solo tracks to date, Rob Knapp is a familiar face and voice to Milwaukee show-goers. As the performing counterpart of Mic Kellogg, he never fails to make an impression upon crowds with his powerful singing voice.

We debuted his first song, ‘Paradise’, last August, and today we are excited to announce the release of his debut project, ‘The Jekyll & Hyde EP’. It's set to release in May 2017.

Knapp detailed, “The idea of Jekyll & Hyde is someone changing the way that they act or express themselves depending on the situation, so in two situations they can act completely differently. That’s the idea of my music; I don’t want to be pigeon-holed into a specific genre or specific category. I’m establishing to people that my music is going to be dabbling in a lot of different things, and that is my essence.”


Along with this announcement comes the first single from the EP.  ‘Jealousy’ is a speak-for-itself banger produced by Mammyth. Stream below and stay tuned for more from the artist soon. 



HRSH - Osmosis (Prod. HRSH)

by: Ali Shana

Hip-hop's roots show strength in numbers and mob-mentality. It is essential to the scene's networking while collective emcees often pursue a uniform style. This is not the case with Illinois-based artist HRSH. Hailing from the seven-member hip-hop group High Five, HRSH's latest release 'Osmosis' is an airy and slow-paced track. Although this vibe can be found in the artist's 'Talking About Practice' EP released six months prior, HRSH produced 'Osmosis' himself, allowing complete creative control. The lyricist did not disappoint in taking this opportunity to the next level. Stylistically, HRSH plays with a familiar cadence perfect to bob your head too. This easy-listening flow paints a picture in the listener's head.  The story starts with everyday habits and progressively gets more morbid. His straight-forward lines express increasingly dark content while being spoken in a calm, OG tone.

For example, "I need to know if I can keep you close? Or will you fold? I'm way too high, a bleeding nose, I need a dose." 

While this track is a showcase of talent, it is also very much an odd-ball that will keep you listening. Stream the glitchy and light headed track 'Osmosis' below.