Nashville R&B Artist JMR Releases Mature & Soulful ‘Boyish’ EP

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Nashville may be an embarrassment of riches when it comes to music, but R&B artist JMR is one of its crown jewels. Releasing his debut EP Ritual as JMR on Republic Records in 2015, Joshua Michael Robinson received praise from SPIN and a multitude of digital press outlets. 2016 saw a Jai Wolf collaboration with the inspired track “Gravity,” and a rare live date playing with longtime site favorites Vinyl Thief at their farewell show (RIP). After parting ways with his former label, JMR is independently releasing his latest EP Boyish.

We first caught wind of Boyish through a video stream of it at JMR’s childhood bedroom at boyish.online. Childhood trophies, a Nintendo 64 controller, and other adolescent items make for nice juxtaposition when set to the mature sounds of JMR’s new release. The self-produced, seven track effort features collaborations with Salaam Remi (Amy Winehouse, Miguel, Estelle) and Robert Glasper (winner of the 2012 Grammy Award for ‘Best R&B Album’).

When talking about JMR, his vocals usually get the most love and attention. And rightfully so. But once you’re finished being wowed by his amorphous, soulful voice, take a moment to appreciate the production and songwriting on Boyish. Minimalist R&B has been making waves for a few years, but JMR uses space purposefully rather than simply riding on a sparse trend. “Not Said Enough” says volumes in moments of only voice and piano before glowing with strings and percussion. EP closer “Coke Can Motorcycle” is a slow-motion ride into a sunrise, driving to some lighter place on the horizon than the place you departed from. “June Carter” channels the iconic Cash couple to muse, “I’m your dark dress savior / I’m your undertaker / I’m your prisoner shaker / I’m your favorite.” It’s an emotive link between our city’s storied country history and its diverse present day.

When discussing single “Bound,” JMR goes into the reason for an independent release. He says, “I was in a place in my music career where I had been let down by the people I was working with. Was forced to regroup and see what I really wanted to do with my voice so I built my own choir — literally and figuratively in this song.”

Preach, JMR, preach. Listen to JMR’s Boyish EP below.
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TWiN | This Weekend in Nashville | May 26-28

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It’s Memorial Day weekend, and, if you are sticking around town, you’ll be rewarded with a stacked bill of incredible shows to sink your teeth into.  We have a number of outdoor events, many of them free and family friendly, that, weather permitting, are definitely worth your attention.  Save steam for the evenings though, as this weekend also boasts a slew of noteworthy shows in the pop, punk, rock, metal, jazz, experimental, and post-rock genres.  If you need help making some decisions, head below to dig into our weekend picks. Have a safe and memorable Memorial Day everyone, and GO PREDS!!!

Your Weekend Plans Are Here

[NO COUNTRY PREMIERE] Hear Tayls’ Ode to Self-Acceptance “Fist Fight,” Ahead of May 26 Basement East Release Show

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Launched late last year, Tayls is the solo outlet of former Chalaxy frontman (and current Creature Comfort drummer) Taylor Cole, whose freaky, psych-pop sound and willingness to push artistic boundaries and subvert genre norms makes him one of the most interesting and exciting new local artists to watch. A few months back, Cole made his buzzworthy introduction as Tayls with debut single “Pop Tart (Queer Boy, Small Town),” hosting a sold out release show for the track at The East Room, and, in the time since, amassing an impressive number of streams and online buzz.

Today, we’re beyond excited to bring you the talented singer’s followup, new song “Fist Fight,” which functions both as an ode to self-acceptance, and a declaration that Tayls is Cole at his most uninhibited, breaking from the confines of prior projects to fully embrace his own artistic identity. A bit more upbeat and anthemic, the song dances between Tayls’ layered, psych sensibilities and his ability to craft huge, electrifying, poppy hooks, underscored with his earnest, personal, and bold lyricism.

On the song, Cole tells us “‘Fist Fight’ is a tune about self acceptance and renewal. It’s me saying ‘I fuck my life and self up all the time, and that’s okay because my heart is in the right place. And I don’t back down easy’,” adding that the cover art, which features the singer bruised and battered “is in reference of course to the title, but also is a nod to my old Chalaxy shows. In those days I would paint my eye area red, blue or whatever. It was like war paint! It put me in a different place. Now that the paint has faded, I have a bruise left from years of hard work and heartache with that band.”

As Tayls, Cole channels a sort of Bowie-esque alter-ego (and even cites the late great singer as another visual inspiration in his cover art), and boasts something of a supergroup backing band, featuring members of Creature Comfort and Molly Rocket. The few shows the project have performed have received rapturous praise, and in honor of “Fist Fight,” you can catch Tayls this Friday, May 26 at The Basement East with Phangs, Keeps, and Manrelic. For just $5 (or $7 at the door), the 21+ ParTay promises to be quite the unique experience, with a theme of “horns, strings and drag queens.” Give “Fight Fight” a spin below for a sneak preview!

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Don’t Miss Sheer Mag | TONIGHT @ Third Man Records!

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Formed a few years ago in Philly by brothers Kyle and Hart Seely, and fronted by the incomparable force that is Tina Halladay, rockers Sheer Mag combine a love for arena-ready ’70s rock, punk, and pop, harboring just as strong an affinity for influences like Thin Lizzy as Fleetwood Mac. With scrappy punk spirit and huge, catchy songs, the fiercely independent group have attracted fast-growing hype, and their bombastic live show and three lean, killer EPs, has already earned them spots at major events like Coachella, and an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Almost two years after making their Music City debut at the now-defunct Stone Fox, and ahead of the July release of their debut full-length, Whiskey Drink (hear shimmering and earnest single “Just Can’t Get Enough” below), the group return tonight, May 25 for a performance at Third Man Records. One of our favorite spots to see live music in all of Nashville, tickets for the all ages event are available here– if you slept on grabbing tickets to Ty Segall’s Mercy Lounge show around the corner, this will be an adequate (and quite possibly superior) substitute.

Sheer Mag will perform tonight, May 25 at Third Man Records. The show is all ages, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available for $10.

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[REMINDER] Catch Robyn Hitchcock w/ Lilly Hiatt and Justin & The Cosmics | TONIGHT @ The Basement East

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We gave you the heads up on this one, and a chance at free tickets last week, but now the time has come for newly local British legend Robyn Hitchcock to serenade the crowd with songs pulled from his massive catalog. Look for fellow residents Lilly Hiatt as well as Justin & The Cosmics to kick things off, on what promise to be an eclectic night of live music. Tunes will start tonight, May 25 at 8 p.m. at The Basement East, and tickets are currently available here. We recommend snagging yours sooner than later, because as word spreads that tickets remain for a cult followed legend like Mr. Hitchcock, odds are it will be filled to near capacity. Read on for a full run down on the lineup, and we look forward to seeing some of you at the show!

Find out more about the lineup→