San Francisco-based singer NaJe is a soul siren. She wails the blues, dabbles in old-school R&B, and hammers out light, airy pop mixed with her strong vocals. Born in Virginia Beach where her passion for music was cultivated with punk rock and jazz, the songstress, born Rebecca Benham, eventually moved to Georgia to traverse the scene with her all-girl rock band The Supervixens. Since then, she’s experimented with all kinds of music, released a few independently produced records, and performed at jazz festivals around the country. On her latest album, New Day, officially releasing next week on April 22nd, NaJe covers a wide range of genres, focusing mainly on the sultry soul that her vocals have already mastered.
The album’s title track opens the record with vibrant reggae rhythms and the first hints of NaJe’s powerhouse vocals, followed by “I Can’t Stop”, another high-powered multi-instrumental track with sweeter vocal tones that are just as effective. Plucky strings and sluggish singing surprises the ear on the vintage nightclub-esque track “Love Is Stronger Than Time”, which feels like a dance in the moonlight. With 11 tracks, New Day illustrates romantic settings and schemas through relatable lyrics, sexy but sinister vocals, and psychedelic, funky rhythms.
Catch the full album stream of NaJe’s New Day below exclusively at Elmore and connect with her on Facebook. If you want to party with NaJe at her release party on April 23rd at San Francisco’s Boom Boom Room, buy tickets here:
“Torchsong temptress NaJe who could have had a second career as a Bond Girl — has instead staked her claim on the Cocktail Nation with her Big Band jazz ensemble. Expect sultry arrangements of Billie Holiday songs and torch tunes that both flicker and blaze.”
When I think Indie music and bands, I generally think of the alternative Indie bands. And as I’m sure you know, there are more than enough of those out there. The alternative Indie bands sure have done agreat job of branding Indie music as an alternative music thing. Well let’s see if we can start to dispel that myth.
This week, I’m going to focus on getting some Indies a little bit of exposure (a real little bit, because let’s be honest, no one really knows about Poptology yet). As such, you’re going to see something you’ve never seen before on Poptology: links to buy. If you happen to like the music, go ahead and buy it. These guys do it for the love of the game, not for the money.
And with that over and done with, I’ll kick off the week with an introduction to NaJe. I’ll put this disclaimer out there: the singer happens to be a close friend of mine. However, I’m not being biased when I say she’s got some serious talent. She’s an Indie vocalist coming out of San Francisco. This track, Desidere, is off her most recent Cinephoniq album.
What do I like about it? It’s simple: Jazz. Her style really brings me back to that smokey jazz lounge vibe that I believe all Jazz heads yearn for. And that’s not an easy style to pull off. This song has all of the classic themes in it. You’ve got everlasting love, undeniable longing, transcontinental adventure coupled with a chill, almost trip-hop vibe of ultimate chill. And the thing that ties it all together is the deep (and clearly evident) Jazz roots.
I want to see her in a dark room with a soft spotlight on her and nothing else. I want to hear the band, feel their presence, but not see the band as they play bars beneath her smokey voice. I want to hear the soft whispers of the audience as the ladies whisper to their lover. I want to sip on on a glass of Hennessey, close my eyes and just breathe… as I listen to this this song.
I’ve got nothing more to say. Listen to it… and just breathe.
“As the formats improved and modernized, so grew the reputation of Kindercore, Gellar says. Friends and co-workers filled the label’s roster: The Supervixens, Joe Christmas, the Mendoza Line and other unrecorded acts were given a vehicle for their music. “When we realized we could actually sell something, it just snowballed from there,” says Lewis. “We started out to be just a local label; we had no idea people would even care about anything we put out anywhere but in Athens.” Surprisingly, as word leaked about the impressively packaged, ’60s-inspired products of the growing label, calls began coming in from literally around the world. “It was quite a shock, to say the least,” says Lewis.
“NaJe is a truly talented and captivating singer who transports the listener to another time and place with her soulful and elegant voice. My husband and I saw her at Yoshi’s SF on Thursday night and her music was so romantic and special for us, that we went back to see her show every Thursday. It was magical, like our wedding anniversary and our first date. We especially like when NaJe sings Caravan. NaJe’s music and songs radiate with sparkle and depth for the audience. Her shows are always joyous occasions.”