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Courageous Endeavors - 'Prototype'

Alex Marianyi
Contributing Writer
alex.marianyi[at]gmail.com / @alexmarianyi

These cats really bring the heat. Without apology or faltering, Courageous Endeavors plows forth, seeking out new territory to be explored. What this album may lack in focus, it more than makes up for in raw talent and deep emotion.

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Sly5thAve Forms Strawberry Jam - "Lot More Livin'" (Download)

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

To celebrate his birthday yesterday, saxophonist Sylvester Onyejiaka, aka Sly5thAve, dropped a new song on his SoundCloud. The new song has a very cool R&B vibe, taking a slight departure from what you may have heard on his latest album, Akuma. The tune is from the duo Strawberry Jam of which Sly5thAve is one half of the pair, yet there are few details about this pairing at the moment. There should be more to come down the line, but in the meantime cop the tune after the jump.

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Taylor McFerrin - 'Early Riser'

Alexander Brown
Staff Writer
alexanderparisbrown@gmail.com / @relaxandaspire

A couple weeks ago Taylor McFerrin, offspring of the legendary Bobby McFerrin, released his first LP, Early Riser, to much acclaim. The album has been in the works for several years and builds upon tracks already released incrementally. McFerrin, who produced the album as well as played all the instrumentation except for a few notable guests, builds on the sound propagated by Flying Lotus on his Brainfeeder label, through which Early Riser was released.

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Shubh Saran - 'A Room With a View'

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

Berklee School of Music grad guitarist & composer Shubh Saran has a cool sound. His approach is reminiscent of Marcus Miller's approach to jazz-- cool, amiable, groove-oriented. Saran's debut EP, A Room With a View isn't riddled with over-complicated compositions and intellectual noodling. There's a simple, straightforward goodness to these songs that are a pleasure to hear. His intermingling of his Indian heritage with modern jazz sounds show great skill without insisting upon itself. This five song EP is definitely worth a listen, so check out this young musician's new album recorded with a band of other fellow talented young Berkleeites after the jump.

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The Stepkids Drop Free EP, 'Wanderers'

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

There aren't many bands who are willing to go there quite like The Stepkids. Today, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Jeff Gitelman, vocalist/bassist/keyboardist Dan Edinberg, and vocalist/drummer Tim Walsh released a new three song EP of tracks recorded during the sessions that ultimately made up last year's Troubadour. These songs embody the same open-minded vibe of that album but with a heck of a lot more experimentation and the jazz/psych influences that the band just cannot hide. It's some of the most fun songs this group have yet to release, and that's saying a lot knowing these guys. It's The Stepkids at their most adventurous and a clear sign that there's more to come. Check out the new EP, Wanderers, after the jump.