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Somi -- Monday albums

Check out these five albums from musicians of all stripes to help you get your Monday off on the right foot.

Lacking in Monday motivation? If you’re like most of us, your motivation depends on the right tunes to give you a boost and keep you going. Luckily, we have some great music to sink your teeth into — African-influenced jazz, abstract hip hop, smoky synth pop, psych rock and a comeback from one of pop music’s favorites.

Need a bit of inspiration for your week ahead? Check out these 5 albums to get your week going!

1. Somi

Harlemite singer-songwriter Somi writes of African identity, gentrification and the African disapora as well as personal experiences on Petite Afrique. Paired with exceptional jazz musicians, the talented 37-year-old singer sonically takes us across the African content with soundscapes created by deft musicians with a variety of backgrounds.

“To write this album I was having a number of conversations with different members of the community. From taxi drivers to business owners, street sellers to community leaders — I wanted to start conversations on what we value in times of gentrification. What we choose to honor what we choose to hold on to, what we choose to keep what we choose to abandon. Ultimately, I want Petite Afrique to be a reflection on the beauty of difference and how we can make home wherever we want to, really. And how we can find how wherever we want to, or sometimes wherever we need to.”

2. Gonjasufi

Gonjasufi is a multi-cultural American emcee and yoga instructor. Born to a Mexican mother and an Ethiopian-American father, San Diego born-and-bred Sumach Ecks creates psychedelic hip-hop influenced by his SoCal upbringing. He landed a record deal with Warp Records after he appeared on a Flying Lotus track in 2008.

3. Tei Shi

Tei Shi is a citizen of the world. Born in Buenos Aires, Valerie Tischer moved quite a bit throughout her teen years, living in Bogotá, Colombia; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Montreal, Quebec. After attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston, the indie pop singer-songwriter now calls Brooklyn home.

Her recent album, Crawl Space, is beautifully layered. The name is a reference to a safe space in which she dealt with her fear of the dark as a child. Tei Shi invited listeners into it, allowing them to share the space in which she faced her fear head-on and grows both personally and artistically as a result. The result combines languid and smoky sounds with driven synth pop, differing from the siren-like quality of her previous records, which she dubbed “mermaid music.”

4. Chaz Bundick Meets The Mattson 2

Chillwave artist-turned-psychedelic virtuoso Chaz Bundick pairs with musical genius twin brothers Jared and Jonathan Mattson. Best known for his work as Toro y Moi, Bundick has dropped the moniker for this project with the SoCal-based Mattson twins.

Previously leaning heavily on electronic elements, Bundick has foregone all electronics in favor of a more organic retro psych sound with progressive elements. The result is layered, beautiful and absolutely worth hearing. Check these three out live if given the chance — you won’t be disappointed!

5. Nelly Furtado

Portuguese-Canadian singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado has once again changed her look and sound, channeling a bold indie pop aesthetic on her fifth studio album. This time, Furtado tapped producer John Congleton, who has worked with St. Vincent, Explosions In The Sky, Black Mountain and Erykah Badu, among others, to help refine the sound and bring her vision to life.

The Ride is my hard-knocks album where I ride in a sin confessional and celebrate my mistakes,” Furtado told FADER magazine. “The equation is imperfection = beauty. This record for me is a palate cleanse, and a chance for me to showcase my songwriting with the help of John Congleton’s unique and modern production style.”

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Laurel Dickman is an intersectional feminist, plus size model, stylist, and fat activist that can also be found via her blogs, Exile In Dietville and 2 Broke Bitches. She grew up in the south between Florida and North Carolina, migrating to the Portland, OR in 2005. All three places inform her perspective of the world around her a great deal. While in Portland, she worked with the Alley 33 Annual Fashion Show, PudgePDX, PDX Fatshion, Plumplandia, and numerous other projects over the near decade that she was there. In August of 2014, she moved to the Bay area with her partner, David and trusty kitty, Dorian Gray. She continues her body positive and intersectional feminism through various forms of activism, fashion, photography projects, and writing from her home in the East Bay. She can be reached at laurel@wyvmag.com and encourages readers to reach out to her to collaborate!

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