WMM’s 50 Favorite Singles of 2020

We’ve played well over 100 New & MidCoastal Single Releases in 2020. We’ve squeezed & sifted our year long playlist, these tracks represent the MidCoastal Music Community. These are stand-alone singles that were not part of an album, EP, or compilation of 2020.

1. David George & Friends – “When We All Come Together”/ Moozer Music / May 11, 2020

[Nearly two months, four creators, and almost 100 musicians came together to make this amazing song! “When We All Come Together” started the week Kansas Citians were asked to self-quarantine. This meant all businesses would be shut down until it was safe to return to normal. But it was pretty clear normal would be a long way away for musicians and others in the music community. Midwest Music Foundation is a Kansas City-based organization that helps those who need help in our music community. This video and song were created to help those struggling in the Kansas City Music Community. To donate or for more information go to: http://www.midwestmusicfoundation.org. Written by David George (featuring rap written by Kadesh Flow). Orchestral arrangements by Brian Lynn. Mastered by Duane Trower. Creative team: Steve Gardels, David George , Michael Lopez, and Giuliano Mingucci. The Band includes: Drew Black, David George, Jeremiah James, John Johnson, J B Moreland, and Mike Penner on guitars; Joe Donley, and Gavin Mac on bass; Giuliano Mingucci on drums; Billy Brimblecom, Jr., Leo Brimblecom (cowbell), and Sam Wisman on percussion; Lin Buck (B3 Organ), and Mark Lowrey (piano) on keyboards; Kian Byrne, Shay Estes, David George, Skeet Hank, Camry Ivory, Kadesh Flow, David Luther, Dana Joel Nicholson, Kirsten Paludan , Nicole Springer, Jillian Roscoe, Jordan Smith, Greg Wickham on featured vocals; Albert Bickley, Lin Buck, Noah Davis, Elizabeth Day & son, Chris Doolittle, Cheryl Fountaine & son, Debbie George, Bill Guilfoyle, Jeff Hon, Rachel Hon, Chris Hudson, Matt Kessler, Brent Kinder, Brian Lynn, Barry Lee, Troy Meiss, John Michaels, Shawn Stewart, Scotty McCormick, Anne Marie McLaughlin, Tiffany Smith, Dave Tanner, and Bob Walkenhorst as the When We All Come Together Choir; with the When We All Come Together Orchestra: Marti Whelan on Bassoon; Phil Brenner, and Teri Quinn on clarinet; Christine Broxterman, Novella Collum, Michael Hon, Laura Hoesly, and Ben Munoz on cello; Karl Hayes on English horn; Janice Lee , Cameron Lynn, Lyra Pherigo, and Mimi Wenger on flute; Karl Hayes on oboe; Phil Brenner (Alto/Tenor), Ian Corbett (Alto/Tenor), Peter Lawless on saxophone; Andrew Anderson, Kadesh Flow, Libby Hanssen, Mark Hoffman, and Anthony Ritchie; Pete Caroll, David Cunningham, Stanton Kessler, Nate Nall, and Ryan Oldham on trumpet; Ben Ruth on tuba; Hannah Dowell, Katie Johnson, Laurel Parks, Roshelle Pekarek, Michael Turnbo on violin; Lexi Carbellero, Roshelle Pekarek, Mason Salmond on viola; When We All Come Together Sign holders (in video): Michelle Bacon & Elena, Tabitha Cosper, Liz Ernst, Sondra Freeman, Shannon Higgins, Liz, Amelia, William Higgins, Phil & Alice Jaggard, Rhonda Lyne, Deegan Poores, Sean Poores, and Pat Tomek; Dancers (in video): Katie Gilchrist, and Brimblecom kids. Thanks to everyone at Midwest Music Foundation for their amazing service to the music industry of Kansas City: Rhonda Lyne, Sondra Freeman, Michelle Bacon, Canyon McClung, Brenton Cook, Christopher Tate, Scott Easterday, Chris Meck, Garrett Nordstrom, Ellen Sherman, Eric Barton. Dr. K. Allen Greiner, Erin Corriveau, Bryant Miller, Vi Tran, Camry Ivory, and Amber Hulet. ©2020 Moozer Music Inc]

They Call Me Sauce

2. They Call Me Sauce – “Make You Sing [feat. Love, Mae C]”/ I Got The Sauce / Mar. 27, 2020

[One of 5 Singles released this year from They Call Me Sauce. Plus a 6th in a featured collaboration with Kadesh Flow. Produced by D. Professor This track features NuBlvckCity band mate Love, Mae C. Recorded at I Got The Sauce Studios & Woodgrain Productions. Mixed & mastered by Tony at Woodgrain ProductionsRoyce “Sauce” Handy is a rapper, a songwriter, a beat maker, a designer, a teacher, an MC, a business owner, a social media manager, a husband, a father., a community organizer. He has worked with the AdHoc Group Against Crime, Teens in Transition, Storytellers Inc., Arts Tech, Mid-America Regional Council, UMKC, Representative Brandon Ellington, former Mayor Sly James. He is co-owner of The Rap Asylum, We are RAP, and owner of Melanin Connoisseur. Sauce has collaborated with visual artists, and the hip hop community. In 2017 Sauce released his EP, Summer Sauce, part of WMM’s 117 Best Recordings of 2017. In 2018 Sauce released Soul Food 4. In 2019 his collective NuBvckCity w/ Kartez Marcel, Mae C, & VP3 released “All Night” / “Alive”. This was #1 on WMM’s 39 Favorite Singles of 2019.]

Kianna White

3. Kianna White – “Homecoming Queen”/ Team Love / September 25, 2020

[Kianna cut her teeth in the critically-acclaimed indie band Tilly and the Wall, touring through the mid to late aughts with bands such as She and Him, Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley and Of Montreal, playing venues around the world and major festivals like Coachella, Japan’s Summersonic, Iceland Airwaves, Reading and Leeds among others, as well as performing on Late Night with David Letterman and Sesame Street before going on hiatus in 2013. During this era, she also performed guest vocals on Rilo Kiley’s “The Absence of God”, “In the Sun” by She & Him and co-wrote and sang on Tiësto’s song “You Are My Diamond”. // Since 2017, her band Yes You Are, with now husband and co-writer Jared White, has had many song placements in movies, television and commercials, most notably in the Pepsi Super Bowl 51 commercial. When Forbes Magazine asked Lyle Hysen, the founder of Bank Robber Music, about the biggest licensing hits over the years, he spotlit Kianna and Jared’s work alongside artists like Spoon and Phantogram saying “Kianna Alarid from Tilly and the Wall has been working on new music with her band Yes You Are. They’re giving us two songs at a time, and they get placements all the time.” // Known for their electrifying live performances, Yes You Are shared the stage with the likes of K. Flay, Young the Giant and Fitz and the Tantrums, and toured the US with Neon Trees. Even though Yes You Are had proven to be successful in many ways, Kianna and Jared felt like the band hadn’t yet accessed their full artistic potential. In mid 2020 they announced the band’s break up when unexpected and major changes in the lineup served as a clear sign it was time to move on. They also decided that Kianna’s ability to hold the spotlight shouldn’t be ignored and set to work on new songs with a solo career for her in mind. The idea proved to be immediately inspiring to the writing duo, and they quickly assembled a collection of impressive new music that feels artistically fresh and full of potential. // Going now by her married name, and having found the support of Team Love Records, Homecoming Queen is Kianna White’s first solo release. The song’s hazy mood and hypnotic guitar lines take indie pop through the looking glass. What emerges on the other side is not flower child psychedelia, but a modern, luscious, psyche-pop, where lyrics of stoned introspection and longing float around on haunted, seductive melodies. Kianna’s voice keeps the trip from spinning off into a hall of funhouse mirrors, becoming a trusted and sober co-pilot, allowing you to surrender, close your eyes, and dance. // High on the freedom to control her individual narrative for the first time Kianna filmed, starred in and edited Homecoming Queen’s innovative and spellbinding music video. All alone in her bedroom and encumbered with the limitations of self-isolation (she used only an iPhone, a Snapchat filter, a flashlight and iMovie) she managed to create something that feels new, slightly unsettling and entirely captivating. The spooky, trance-inducing visual effects over the song’s eerily inviting hooks, present us with a poignant reflection of our strange and anxious times. Kianna was on WMM Sept. 30, 2020.]

4. Hi-Lux – “Revolution” w/ “Get What You Give” / The Record Machine / Mar. 6, 2020

[This KC based band is lead by singer Julia Haile, with Tim Braun on guitar, Nick Howell on keys, Dan Loftus on bass and Kian Bryne on drums. Hi-Lux is a Modern-Soul band that blends and bends the boundaries between soul, rock n roll, reggae, and funk. This group aims to create music that pays tribute to their myriad of influences (Amy Winehouse, The Meters, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings) but also claims a spotlight of its own in the musical world. After a string os single releases, including one on 7” vinyl through Sunflower Soul Records, followed by the release of their self-titled EP, Hi-Lux has introduced an eclectic and impressive collection of songs to give the world a small taste of what’s to come. Hi-Lux is on a journey of musical discovery, mixing old and new to create something unique.]

5. Brandon Phillips and The Condition – “Contrition” / Brandon Phillips / June 16, 2020

[The first release of the band’s Summer Singles 2020 Series which also included “Sunrise” released July 14, 2020, and “Veronica” released August 11, 2020. Brandon Phillips, Adam Phillips, Brent Kastler, Mike Alexander, Julie Berndsen, Julia Haile, and Nathan Showalter. Recorded and Mastered at Element Recording and Mastering with Joel Nanos. Mixed by Brandon Phillips. Art by Jud Kite. Follow up to their April 13, 2019 Too Much Rock release, “Angel Say No” / “People Talk” 7” single release. The group is inspired by Elvis Costello and Motown Records”Girl Groups.” This is a project of Brandon Phillips (The Architects, The Gadjits, Other Americans) and features an ensemble cast.]

6. Monta At Odds – “When Stars Grow Old” / The Record Machine / October 19, 2020

[Monta At Odds released their 4-song EP Zen Diagram earlier this year on May 1, 2020. “When Stars Grow Old” is from Monta At Odd’s seventh full-length album, Peak of Eternal Light, to be released in 2021 on The Record Machine. Dedric Moore describes the song , “it’s an android of a song, combining the human and the electronic into a sizzling new sonic creation. “When Stars Grow Old” is the sound of humanity visiting new worlds across the dark spaces of time, reconstructing the beat of music through memory and instinct. An ad hoc band plays to the sparkling, unfamiliar sky of a distant world. It’s the music of the future if formed from ghostly, discarded impressions of the past.” The band describes their music as: Mutant Disco, minimal synthwave, post-punk dance, Electronica, Indie, Space Rock, Ambient. Monta At Odds is a psychedelic, experimental indie/space rock/electronic collective based in KCK formed by brothers Dedric and Delaney Moore. Recently the band had added Mikal Shapiro and Teri Quinn and Lucas Behrens to the line up. Past supporting members: Alexander Thomas, Adam Davies, Zach Bozich, Aaron Osborne, Matthew Hayden, Mika Tanaya, Sterling Holman, Bree Plaster; Eric Bessenbacher, Ryan Shank, Jeremiah James, Samer Saba, Doug Hutchinson, Erin O’Neill, Sam Behrens, Sam Hughes, Tom Romero, Caleb Aldrich, John Aldrich. Monta At Odds released their 6th full length album Argentum Dreams on October 19, 2018.]

Ivory Blue

7. Ivory Blue – “Family Tables” / Ivory Blue / December 7, 2020

[One of three new singles along with, “Elite Dreamland,” and “Half a Life” released this year from Ivory Blue. Singer, songwriter, rock & roller, Ivory Blue was born in 1986 in Peoria Illinois, as Devin James Miclettet. Ivory’s birth mother put them up for adoption at the age of four. Ivory speaks about how it was difficult to find trust in people offering their home to someone denied of it for so long, Ivory had lived with eight different families, before running away at 15, moving from Indiana to Oklahoma and eventually ending up in Seattle. In 2011, after a friend sent a plane ticket, Ivory landed in the Kansas City area, and became a part of new family where they were able to have solid ground and over the past several years has been performing in singer-songwriter showcases. Ivory Blue’s debut EP, Ready Get Set was released in June 2015 and had wide radio airplay on this show and multiple radio and television stations in Kansas City and across the country. In 2017 Ivory was among 1800 bands that competed in neXt2Rock. Ivory won local & regional challenges and advanced to nationals in Los Angeles to win the top prize. Ivory Blue has played Crossroads Music festival, The Middle of the Map Festival, The Westport Roots Festival, the KCPT Screening of “Real Boy” at The Kansas City Public Library, and Kauffman Stadium. Ivory Blue is currently in the studio putting together a new full length 10-song album called “Compound Love” for release in 2021. Ivory Blue was a guest on WMM on April 29 and September 2.]

8. Khrystal. – “Magic” / Manor Records / August 8, 2020

[Manor Records announced a new single from newly signed KCK musical artist Khrystal. Her new single “Magic” will be available on August 8, 2020 and will be released on limited edition cassette singles with her most recent single “You Again” as a B-Side. On September 1, 2017 Khrystal. Released The Glow Up EP, Produced & Written by Khrystal Coppage and Duncan Burnett. This was follow up to Khrystal’s Debut EP, Quarter Century Living. Executive Produced By Duncan Burnett. Written By Khrystal Coppage & Duncan Burnett. Kansas City based Khrystal Coppage served as Editor-in-Chief of Khorage Magazine. She served as Production Manager at UMKC University News from 2015 to 2016. She graduated from UMKC in 2016 where she studied Family Studies. She graduated from Kansas City Kansas Community College in 2013. She is a graduate of Sumner Academy of Arts & Science, in KCK. ]

9. Eems – “Unbreakable” / Eems / October 11, 2020

[“Unbreakable” is one of four single tracks Eems released in 2020 including “Middle” on May 4, 2020, and the two song release “Spacelord” on February 29, 2020. Eems started 2020 with the 8-track release “Sweet Dreams on January 10. Eems is Phillip Jackson, a KC based ukulele loop artist, singer songwriter, rapper, pianist, drummer, The resonance of his bright musical sounds, and lyrical calls, are woven through genres of folk, hip hop, pop, and dance influences. He has shared the stage with notable hop hop artists, and KC Folk Music Fest, Middle of The Map Fest. For Eems, a ukulele is a jumping off point that leads to an uncharted and often unpredictable world of sound and inspiration. Blending it with loops and effects to achieve a captivating blend of R&B and pop music, Eems has used his unique sounds, voice and sense of humor to reach crowds across the country. Eems has opened up for” Slick Rick The Ruler and GLC form Kanye West’s G.O.O.D music label. Eems released his EP Dreems on June 26, 2018. Eems released Rocket Shop EP on August 11, 2017. Eems released IIID on June 17, 2016.]

10. The Jinxed – “World On Fire” / The Jinxed / May 8, 2020

[The Jinxed is Bobby Topaz on vocals & guitar & Jon Ulasien on drums, guitar, bass, vocals, piano, synth. Lyrics, production, tracked and engineered by Jon Ulasien. Bobby Topaz is also in Hot Suede and Bad Wheels, and was in the Abracadabras. Jon Ulasien is in Shadow Rabbits and was part of Antennas Up. The Jinxed released their debut single “The Loon” with “Say To Me” in 2013 on Sharp County Records. Bobby Topaz told Michelle Bacon on The Bridge 90.9 website: “We originally started because Jonny wanted me to sing on ‘The Loon,’ and I had a song too. Then, we kinda moved on from it, but never forgot about it,” Topaz said. “Since we’re not able to play live anymore, it seemed like a good time to put this out. We figured, why not? We’ve got the time to do it right.” “The song itself had the good fortune of timing,” Topaz said. Jon wrote the lyrics about feeling adrift, but being grateful to have someone to lean on. I had no idea what was to come, but I feel like that sentiment of being lost and scared is very relatable to people right now.”]

11. Scabb & Strings – “Mount (Radio Edit)” / Manor Records / May 25, 2020

[Scabb & Strings is Sammy Hernandez (Scabb) and Shaun Crowley (Strings). Sammy Hernandez is the younger brother of Quinn Hernandez of the band Momma’s Boy. Shaun Crowley is the lead guitarist for Momma’s Boy and founder of Manor records and the Manor Fest. Produced & engineered by Scabb. Sammy released his own solo Scabb debut 6-song EP on November 6, 2020, which included “Honey Dew” released as a single Oct. 29, and “Champagne Chutney” released as a single Oct. 15. Scabb, is a KCK native and multi faceted artist seasoned heavily in soul and experimental samples. His love/hate relationship with himself and society with the mix of his obsession with word choice and mood switch add range to his malleable style bringing you back for a second listen. Scabbs nostalgic melodies, raw lyricism and self centered banter will you keep you feeling engaged and refreshed.]

12. Ernest Melton – “Narrative for Natives” / Ernest Melton / March 9, 2020

[One of two singles released by Ernest Melton including “Chronicles of Conception” released April 21, 2020. Earnest Melton is also featured on the BodaciousThang single, “Say Hi” released Sept. 2, 2020 on Jucy Burrito Records. In 2019 Ernest Melton released the album “The Standard Imperfections.” In 2018 he released the album “The Time of the Slave Is Over.” Ernest Melton is a saxophonist, composer, and band leader currently residing in Kansas City, Missouri by way of Goldsboro, North Carolina. He relocated to his mother’s hometown of Kansas City, Missouri at the age of ten where he picked up his first saxophone at Longfellow Academy of the Arts. Bored with the classical curriculum of the music department, Ernest studied more contemporary genres of music and the guitar until the age of fourteen when he joined his first jazz program through the American Jazz Museum of Kansas City. Playing mostly tenor sax by the age of fourteen, Ernest joined Lincoln High School jazz band and many other musical programs around the Greater Kansas City area. Naturally excelling, Melton left school at the age of sixteen to study music on his own. With kind neighbors and a supportive mother, Ernest was free to practice the saxophone, study albums, and write compositions at any hour of the day. It was during this time he found his first major influences in jazz like Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane, Kenny Garrett, and Pharoah Sanders. Pharoah’s polyphony were like echoes of Melton’s father, a Primitive Baptist preacher, and became a large influence of his playing. An avid composer as well, Ernest studied with tutors in classical orchestration, big band arranging, and Afro-Cuban drumming. He cites Charles Mingus, Igor Stravinsky, and Wayne Shorter as his favorite all around composers and still tries to implement their techniques in his music today. After being accepted into Berklee College of Music he decided not to attend and began his career playing music in bands of every genre around the Greater Kansas City area. In 2018 Ernest release his first full length album entitle, “The Time Of The Slave Is Over”, which received raved reviews at home and abroad by media such as Plastic Sax, Quest TV, and JAZIZZ to name a few. Currently, Melton is working on his second full length album entitled, “Sound Stories”, to be released in 2020. While still in his early twenties, Ernest Melton has played all over the country and plans to continue to travel abroad.]

Harper Knecht and Zso Nemeth on the Oct. 21, 2020 edition of Wednesday MidDay Medley

13. No Germ Candy – “Straight Talk” (Side A) / Too Much Rock / October 21, 2020

[No Germ Candy was formed in 2018 by Zso Nemeth on vocals and Harper Knecht on guitar. Both live in KCMO. Their style consists of an upbeat, poppy sound and sincere lyrics with humorous undertones. Nemeth and Knecht’s combination of bright vocals and soft strings create an intimate, heartfelt energy. Zso Nemeth is the daughter of Krysztof Nemeth, baritone guitarist of Emmaline Twist. Harper Knecht is the daughter of Jonathan Knecht drummer of Emmaline Twist. Sid Sowder founded Too Much Rock, a music blog site he created in 1997 to share his photos, videos & comments of live music shows he attends. The Too Much Rock Singles Series is a collection of 45 rpm singles that marry great songs with great bands all for the love of vinyl. Each old-school two-song single features one unique song paired with one cover chosen by Too Much Rock who press 500 limited edition copies and then simply give them to the band. Schwervon!, Rev Gusto, Josh Berwanger Band, The Uncouth, Hipshot Killer, Witch Jail, Red Kate, Heidi Lynne Gluck, and Brandon Phillips and The Condition have all recorded for the Too Much Rock Single Series. More info at: http://www.toomuchrock.com No Germ Candy and Sid Sowder were on WMM on Oct. 21, 2020.]

Quiet Takes

14, Quiet Takes – “Wanted (The Dirty Windshield Version)” / Sarah Magill / May 1, 2020

[Sarah Magill writes: “Wanted” lives in the ellipses between acknowledging you want something you can’t have…and letting that desire go. The plan was to put this stripped-down version out in the fall after releasing its more produced twin on an EP this summer, but then everything changed. Beyond the pandemic’s catastrophic casualties, we are all grappling with lesser losses: plans, jobs, dreams, relationships, routines, shows, savings, physical touch. It seemed right to put this version out now. Sometimes we only realize what we want when it’s absent. That’s the gift in the grief, but it stings, doesn’t it? Music & Lyrics by Sarah Magill. Produced by David Bennett. Vocals & keyboards by Sarah Magill, guitars, & bass by David Bennett. Extra keyboards by Ian Thompson. Engineered & mixed by David Bennett at Aorist Studios in KCMO. Mastered by Zach Hanson. Quiet Takes (formerly MYRY) is an on-going collaborative music project by Sarah Magill a writer & musician based in KC. She performs with a rotating cast of friends—although these stay-at-home days, she is playing solo. In KC, she is known for hosting house shows and co-founding Rubix, a performance art collective. MYRY’s first EP, AHEM, was released in 2018. Sarah released four of MYRY’s songs from that 2018 EP release as Quiet Takes singles in 2020. She is preparing to release a new EP or album in 2021. Sarah Magill was a guest on WMM on May 13. “Wanted” was a new song not from MYRY’s previous release.]

15. Berwanger – “Change The Season” / Wiretap Records / September 18, 2020

[In pandemic Josh released several B-side singles of earlier releases and inspired by the presidential election released a new single. Last year Josh Berwanger released his 4th full length album “Watching A Garden Die” on Wiretap Records. Josh was in The Anniversary, a Kansas band that released, 2000’s Designing a Nervous Breakdown & 2002’s Your Majesty and sold over 100,000 records before breaking up on tour in Japan. The band recently reunited for new shows and a tour this year. Berwanger was also in the band, The Only Children, and released, 2004’s Change of Living & 2007’s Keeper of Youth. When Keeper of Touth ended Josh Berwanger took a break and became a high school basketball coach. In the 2012 Josh formed the Josh Berwanger band. Berwanger released Dtrange Stains in April 2014, the EP Demonios November 11, 2016, Exorcism Rock in Oct. 2017, and The Star Invaders October 2017. Josh Berwanger also plays in Radar State.]

16. Dreamgirl – “All You Wanna Do Is Dance” / Dreamgirl / September 25, 2020

[Dreamgirl is a ‘dream-pop’ music group formed in St. Joseph, Missouri in 2013. Now based out of Kansas City, Missouri, and building off of the success of their breakout EP “Illuminaughty” (2015), Dreamgirl has released a full-length, self-titled LP and is currently working on a new EP. They have gained an impressive following both stellarly and interstellarly. Up until the summer of 2018, they operated and managed themselves completely internally. Now they have partnered with Rogue Booking Agency. Dreamgirl has benefited massively from internet platforms like Spotify and Youtube. Members include: Lacey Hopkins on lead vocals, Grady Drugg on guitar, Skylar Smith on guitar Joe Gronniger on bass, Ian Dobyns on drums.]

Iris DeMent

17. Iris DeMent – “Going Down To Sing In Texas” / FlariElla / October 9, 2020

[On September 3 Grammy Nominated singer songwriter Iris DeMent released the new single “How Long.” On October 6, 2020 Iris DeMent sent me a new song she just wrote as a lyric video. I immediately wrote back to Iris, “This song is so beautiful and so needed right now. I cried several times listening to it.” She wrote back, “It’s a cry and dance at the same time song. Can’t say I’ve written one of those before. She ended her message with a smily face and the words,“Much love!” WMM was the first radio show to play this new song. Iris DeMent represents that place in the road, where Country and Folk music merged with honest stories, of working class people, not afraid to tell the truth about the times they are living through. Iris DeMent, born January 5, 1961, in rural Paragould, Arkansas. She was the youngest of 14 children. At the age of 3, her devoutly religious family moved to California, where she grew up singing gospel music. During her teenage years, Iris was exposed to country, folk, & R&B, drawing influence from Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, & Joni Mitchell. In the mid 1980s Iris moved to the midwest, and after a series of jobs as a waitress and typist she wrote her first song at the age of 25. She moved to Kansas City and played Harling’s Upstairs and open-mic nights alongside Scott Hrabko and Howard Iceberg. Iris met producer Jim Rooney from Nashville, in 1988, who helped her land a record contract. Iris Dement made her recording debut in 1992, with her independently produced album, “Infamous Angel.” The record won critical acclaim and John Prine mentioned Iris in his list of favorite recordings of the year published in Rolling Stone. Despite a complete lack of support from country radio, the word of mouth praise for Iris DeMent’s “Infamous Angel” earned her a deal with Warner Bros Records, which reissued “Infamous Angel” in 1993. The album also included the song, “Let The Mystery Be” a composition that has also been covered by David Bryne, 10,000 Maniacs, Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick, Greg Brown, and it was the theme song for the second season of HBO’s The Leftovers. Iris followed up her debut record with the autobiographical, “My Life,” released in 1994 and dedicated to her father, Patric Shaw DeMent, who died in 1992. My Life was followed with her third Warner Brother’s release, “The Way I Should,” released in 1996, which contains some of Iris DeMent’s most political songs. In 2002 Iris DeMent did a benefit concert for The Friends of Community Radio, and non-protit organization formed for active and former programmrs and volunteers from The MidCoast Radio Project – KKFI 90.1 FM at Unity Temple on The Plaza. I remember when Iris asked us if it was okay that she have a musician friend open the concert for her, we agreed And then she told us that this musician friend was Greg Brown, who at this point was known all over the country, but had never before played KC. Later that year, on November 21, 2002 Greg married Iris DeMent in a private ceremony in the office of Rev. Sam Mann of St. Mark Church in East KC. Grammy Nominated Greg Brown is one of the most respected singer songwriters working in music. He started singing professionally at the age of 18 organizing early folk concerts in New York City, Portland, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. In the 1980s, he worked and toured extensively as musical director for Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion radio program. He also founded his own record label, named Red House Records after a home in which he lived in Iowa. Greg Brown has released over 30 recordings and has allowed much of his music to be used to raise funds and awareness for environmental and social causes. His songs have been performed by Willie Nelson, Jack Johnson, Carlos Santana, Michael Johnson, Ani DiFranco, Shawn Colvin, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Iris DeMent and Joan Baez. In 2004 Iris DeMent independently released her 4th album, and her first in 8 years. It was a collection of protestant gospel hymns that she grew up hearing her mother sing. The album is called “Lifeline” and includes one original song called, “He Reached Down,” a song inspired by a sermon delivered by Rev. Sam Mann at St Mark Church in KC. After Lifeline it would be 8 more years before Iris DeMent would release another album. Iris gave audiences a taste of her new music during a sold out benefit concert at The Folly Theatre with Greg Brown on November 11, 2011. The benefit was organized by friend Rev. Sam Mann for the St. Mark Child and Family and Development Center. Iris and Greg helped Rev Mann raise over $50,000.00 for the center that serves children and families on the East Side in Kansas City. Iris DeMent’s 2012 album “Sing The Delta” received glowing reviews from the UK publication UNcut, The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, and was in many Top Ten Lists of KC music aficionados, including being #1 on our list of WMM’s The 112 Best Recordings of 2012. In 2015 Iris Dement released her 6th album The Trackless Woods which sets 18 poems by acclaimed 20th century Russian poet Anna Akhmatova to life. Hailed as one of Russia’s finest poets, Akhmatova survived the Bolshevik Revolution, both World Wars and Stalin. She lost family, friends & fellow writers to political killings and labor in the gulags. When Iris randomly stumbled upon Akhmatova’s work in a book of poetry a friend sent as a gift, she was immediately taken by the sorrow and burden of the poems, juxtaposed with Akhmatova’s lightness and transcendence in the face of inhumanity. ”Anna’s gift of song is so strong, about alI I had to do was get really quiet and listen,” says Iris. After reading that first poem the melodies began pouring out of her, and before she even fully understood what was driving her, Iris was gathering musicians & friends, including co-producer Richard Bennett (Emmylou Harris, Neil Diamond, Steve Earle), to record ‘The Trackless Woods’ in her living room over a five-day period. The project also fulfilled a long yearned-for desire to connect with her adopted daughter’s culture and history. Iris and her husband Greg Brown adopted their daughter from Siberia in 2005, when she was 6, and Iris says ”I’d never have made this record were it not for her.” Like Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, Iris DeMent has never shied away from lending her voice to justice and social causes. On March 2, 2017 in response to the election and policies of current President Donald Trump, Iris released her song “We Won’t Keep Quiet” on You Tube. Written and performed by Iris DeMent with members of the Iowa City community who sang with her, and participated in the Lift the Ban Rally in Iowa City, the Women’s March in Des Moines, and the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. In his review for WHYY’s Fresh Air, Entertainment Weekly Music Editor – Ken Tucker wrote: “Iris DeMent possesses one of the great voices in contemporary popular music: powerfully, ringingly clear, capable of both heartbreaking fragility and blow-your-ears-back power. Had she been making country albums in the ’70s and ’80s and had more commercial ambition, she’d probably now be considered right up there with Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette. Instead, she’s lived a contemporary life, a somewhat private life. As she recently told an interviewer, “There’s a lot that goes into life besides songwriting.” And she’s taken her time in composing songs that fit into no genre easily.”]

18. The Noise FM – “Who’s Watching Who?” / The Noise FM / July 24, 2020

[Released with B-Side “Cooler Heads Prevail.” The Noise FM plays melodic, beat-driven indie-rock. Sometimes the tunes get really loud with fuzzed out synthesizers and gnarly riffs. Other times, it gets quieter — all grooves and sexy vibes. Regardless of the volume, people tend to dance. Brothers Alex & Austin Ward formed The Noise FM in Lawrence, Kansas. After 9 years in Chicago, the band relocated to Los Angeles in 2019. The band released their 10 song album Attraction on January 28, 2014. The band released Hot Sauce: The Noise FM Live from recordBar on December 9, 2016. They released their 6-song EP Enclave on May 14, 2010. The band released Dream of the Attack on October 1, 2008. They released their 16 track Night of the Sentinels on January 1, 2007. Alex & Austin Ward are also members of the band Hembre]

19. The Freedom Affair – “Imagine” / Sunflower Soul Records / March 20, 2020

[Music & Lyrics by John Lennon. The Freedom Affair is a project of Chris Hazelton of Sunflower Soul Records and Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7. The Freedom Affair is: Misha Roberts on vocals, Seyko Groves on vocals, Paula Saunders on vocals, Cole Bales on guitar, Branden Moser on guitar, Chris Hazelton on bass, Dave Brick on drums, Pete Carroll on trumpet, and Brett Jackson on saxophone. Additional musicians include: Matt Bennett on violin, and Alyssa Bell in viola. Arranged, Produced, Recorded, & Mixed by Chris Hazelton. Mastered by Adam Boose at Cauliflower Audio. The Freedom Affair and their track “Rise Up” were selected to be part of Colemine Records 3xLP box set, “Soul Slabs Vol. 2” a Record Store Day Exclusive, released April 13, 2019. Colemine Records writes: “The Freedom Affair is a freight train of Kansas City soul! Dirty, funky drums, gritty horns, and the combined vocals of Misha Roberts, Seyko Groves, and Paula Saunders to put this band over the top. Politically charged soul music for the dancefloor!” This was a stand alone single separate from The Freedom Affair’s Sept. 25, 2020 album, Freedom Is Love on Sunflower Soul Records.]

20. Marcus Lewis Big Band – “Black in America feat. Kemet & Kadesh Flow” / Sharp 11 Records / Nov. 2, 2020

[Marcus Lewis has performed at the Grammy Awards, the New Orleans Jazz Fest, the Glastonbury Fest, Nobel Peace Prize Concert and the North Sea Jazz Fest, Sydney Opera House, and the White House. TV shows include SNL, David Letterman, The Today Show, Jools Holland, Arsenio Hall, and American Idol. Marcus has performed with Aretha Franklin, Prince, Janelle Monáe, Bruno Mars, B.o.B, and Jidenna. On August 24, 2019 Marcus Lewis Big Band released Brass and Boujee in collaborating with veteran Kansas City MCs: Kemet Coleman and Kadesh Flow to bring Big Band together with Hip Hop.]

21. Paper Tongues – “Just Do It” / Soundview Projects / August 5, 2020

[Paper Tongues are a musical hailing from Charlotte North Carolina. Aswan North grew up in Jacksonville, North Carolina and Danny Santell is originally from the Bronx, New York City, NY. The two combine forces to deliver an eclectic Rock & Hip Hop Sounds. Danny Santell now resides in Kansas City. Paper Tongues was once signed to AM Octone Records and was managed by Randy Jackson (American Idol/Journey). They left the label and got their masters back and are now truly independent recording artists!.]

Nicole Springer on the April 29, 2020 edition of WMM on KKFI

22. Heart Machine – “The Lonely One” / Heart Machine / September 15, 2020

[One of two singles released from Heart Machine including “Nightmare” released October 23, 2020. Heart Machine is one of several “side projects” of KC powerhouse vocalist Nicole Springer who last year released the critical acclaimed EP Willing from The Nicole Springer Band. For many years, award winning singer-songwriter Nicole Springer longed to write and arrange 80’s inspired pop songs. In 2015, she put that dream to work and started writing and arranging music on her iPad. The songs ranged from epic gospel ballads to spooky synth jams, all made with love and heartfelt purpose, with a sound unlike anything she had ever made before. She then formed a collaboration with her longtime bandmate and stellar musician/producer, Aaron Derington. Aaron began to take the songs Nicole sent him and re-record them in his studio using a variety of real sounds, keyboards, and samples from classic 80’s pop hits. Moving at their own organic pace, Nicole and Aaron have put in countless hours and energy into fully realizing the potential of every song, knowing that it would be worth the wait to give every song it’s due diligence and love.]

23. Brent Windler – “Around The Bend” / Brent Windler / May 29. 2020

[Brent Windler is a singer/songwriter based in KCMO. His songs display Power pop leanings but still stay rooted in the Midwestern US creating a unique blend of melodic pop and Americana. Brent is also known for his work with The Casket Lottery, and the band Sons of Great Dane. Brent Windler also released “Spanish Jasmine” on Sept. 4, 2020 and under the moniker, Dandelions with Tim Gutschenritter the duo released “The Cat, The Killer” on September 29, 2020 and “Take On the World” on November 24, 2020.]

24. Crystal Rose – “Not Leaving (Stripped)” / Crystal Rose / January 30, 2020

[Crystal Rose released her debut single “Come Alive” on May 6, 2016. Crystal is a Kansas City based singer songwriter and UMKC journalism student who has played solo and also with Paige Turner on guitar, Peter Marten on guitar, and Robert Castillo on bass. Crystal Rose is a singer song-writer based in heart of Kansas City. At a young age she was influenced by powerhouse vocals like Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Christina Aguilera. She has since drawn much inspiration from blues and folk centered artist like James Bay, James Vincent McMorrow and Johnny Swim. To listen to more Crystal Rose please visit: http://www.crystalro.se]

25. In The Pines – “Bones” / Arctic Rodeo Recordings / June 5, 2020

[In The Pines are back with their first new release since the 2006 debut album In The Pines. Single from upcoming album to be released soon. KC based six-piece band with Brad Hodgson on guitar & vocals, Darren Welch on bass, Laurel Morgan on violin & vocals, Matt Wolber on guitar, and Mike Myers on drums. Made up of two guitars, a bass, a violin, a viola, a pump organ, drums, and five vocals, their music is serene at times, other times brooding, creating an atmosphere ideal for their subject matter: narratives of a man wasted away in prison, a woman burning to death as her dress catches fire, a handless man intent on showing others the subtle gifts in life. It is dark, it is dirty, it is sometimes drunken. It is intimate. More info at: http://www.inthepines.com]

26. Laura Noble – “Love Ahora” / Noble Nation Records / July 10, 2020

[Kansas City based Dominican Republic singer Laura Noble has had the opportunity to perform cover and original songs in major cities including Queens & Manhattan, NY, Minneapolis, MN, Denver, CO, Fort Myers, FL, Denver, CO, Atlanta, GA, Baltimore, MD and others. She’s been performing with live bands for 10+ years at festivals, high budget weddings, and corporate events. She has done the National Anthem and God Bless America at major sporting games and events like the KC Royals, Sporting KC and MMA fight tournaments. Laura Noble plays KKFI’s 16th annual (Virtual) Crossroads Music Fest, 6:15 PM Live from recordBar, Saturday, September 12, LIVESTREAM and LIVE BROADCAST, 4 PM to 10 PM, with Calvin Arsenia, The Royal Chief, Eddie Moore’s We The People, Julia Othmer, Reptil, Ezgi Karakus, Soul Servers.]

Sam Wells

27. Sam Wells – “Sugar” / Sam Wells / April 21, 2020

[Produced at the Lawrence Kansas Public Library recording studio. It was only a decade ago, Sam Wells sat in her bedroom learning the Corrine Bailey Ray classic “Put Your Records On”. This was all it took to ignite a lifetime love affair with music. Now based in Lawrence KS, the singer-songwriter brings her Folk-Americana sound to the greater Kansas City area. With her smooth and sultry voice and the warm tones of a baritone ukulele, she shares stories of love, loss and everything in between. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Sam Wells joined us on WMM on May 13, 2020 to talk about her first two singles, “Lesson Learned” (her 2019 debut single) and “Sugar” (her latest) that is “full of energy and funk.” These two tracks are leading up to the release of Sam’s first EP, “Not Too Broken,” be released in 2021. More info at: http://www.whoissamwells.com]

28. Ivy Roots – “Home” / Ivy Roots Music / April 22, 2020

[KC native singer songwriter, who plays piano & guitar, and produces beats. Her style ranges from R & B, Neo Soul, Hip Hop, Acoustic, & Pop. The acoustic guitar strumming songstress draws from her inspirations; Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill, Deangelo, and India Arie. Ivy Roots studied audio engineering at Kansas City, Kansas Community College. She toured in a 5-piece reggae band, played regional festivals, Los Angeles, and collaborated with film & performance. She also sang in a vocal jazz group at a performing arts jazz festival at Lincoln Center in NYC, before releasing her first album “Bad Intuition” and beginning her solo career. Last year Ivy Roots released her EP Love Art Growth on June 5, 2019 where she collaborated with Eddie Moore. Ivy Roots released her debut album Bad Intuition on April 14, 2016. Written & produced by Ivy.]

29. City Pets – “All The Time” / City Pets Records / February 21, 2020

[A new collaborative project from Joe Stanziola aka Second Hand King]

R.I.Peter aka Peter Beatty on the April 22, 2020 edition of Wednesday MidDay Medley on KKFI 90.1 FM

30. R.I.Peter – “Rising Sun” (Cruis’n / Rising Sun) / Manor Records / April 10, 2020

[New singles from Kansas City based musician and songwriter Peter Beatty who plays in the band Momma’s Boy, and who have been playing together since they were in the band Rev Gusto that was formed with Quinn Hernandez and friends, while they were in high school at Saint James Academy. Peter studied at University of Kansas. Peter released the debut EP solo project R.I.Peter on July 5, 2019. Manor Records described R.I.Peter’s music saying, “It’s like if you took video game music and mashed it with Fleet Foxes or something. electronic pop ambient america folk mystic Both of the songs were written by Peter Beatty.]

31. Cat Dail – “Red Pill” / Lucky Magnet Records / July 30, 2020

[Recorded entirely remotely, during Covid-19, May 2020. CAT DAIL Vocals, SHAWN PELTON Drums, ANDY HESS Bass, SCOTT SHARRARD Guitar, BEN STIVERS Rhodes Piano, BARRY DANIELIAN Trumpet, CRAIG DREYER Sax, CLARK GAYTON Trombone. Produced by CLARK GAYTON, Mixed by MARC URSELLI, Mastered by JOE LaPORTA, Sterling Sound Originally from Kansas City, Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, & producer Cat Dail, lives some of the time in NYC and some of the time in Chesterfield, NH. She’s released 5 albums on her label Lucky Magnet Records . Cat has been active in the Indie rock scene since the 1990s, leading her NYC band, Cat played a residency at the Bitter End, and most colleges and clubs from Vermont to Virginia, Colorado to California. Her EP Fight For Love was part of WMM’s 118 Best recordings of 2018. More info at: http://www.catdail.com]

32. DeMaur – “Love Is a Losing Game” / DeMaur / February 14, 2020

[DeMaur is Maurice Demetrius Roper. He is a singer/songwriter based in his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri. DeMaur is an R&B/Soul artist. He started singing at the age of 5 years old when he joined his Kindergarten choir and has enjoyed being an entertainer ever since. DeMaur got much of his musical influence and inspiration singing in his late uncle’s church in Kansas City, Missouri during his teenage years. During this time, he knew that singing would be a part of his everyday life. DeMaur performs with his band, The Movement, throughout the Kansas City, Missouri area.]

Jared Bajkowski on the January 29, 2020 edition of Wednesday MidDay Medley on KKFI.

33. Jairy – “Into The Morning” / Manor Records / January 27, 2020

[Jairy is the pop-focused solo project of Jared Bajkowski, bass player of KC indie outfit Momma’s Boy. The music of Jairy explores dissociation, romance, hallucinations, sexuality and the despair of living in a capital-driven world via smooth, sassy and theatrical 70s- and 80s-inspired pop sounds.]

34. Keisha Frazier aka Klov – “Cannot Change” / Records DK / June 12, 2020

[Keisha “Klov” Frazier, is a KC Native rap artist. At the age of 12, Klov, developed a passion for music dedicated her life to pursuing her dream. Influences include; Bone Thugs N Harmony, Tupac Shakur, Da Brat, and Notorious B.I.G. Klov’s music can be found on SoundCloud, YouTube, iTunes, and more. Keisha Frazier goes deep on this emotionally driven track about being kicked out of her home for being gay. Midwestern religion and ideals can be an oppressive force that she “Cannot Change” but that does not stop her from seeing strength in herself and moving forward. Mixed by multi-platinum engineer, Aaron Connor.]


35. Cuee – “Who’s Back” / Cuee / August 12, 2020

[Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Cuee is a 27 year old Lawrence based hip-hop artist emcee, and educator. In the last 5 years Cuee has wowed audiences in Lawrence and KC for his critically acclaimed musical releases and live performances. Cuee exhibits an energetic and fun, yet smooth and motivational edge to his style of music. Drawing major influence from hip-hop artists such as Jay Z, Kanye West and Chance The Rapper, one could see why his storytelling essence fuses with harmonic flows. His fan favorites include Shook, Blessed, and Feeling Lucky from Cuee’s 2018 album, Shameless. Cuee is currently working to release an new album titled, “Gospel.”Cuee received his Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Kansas. Cuee is also a recently graduate of Artist Inc.]

36. Verbose – “Flash Bang Johnny” / Verbose / October 23, 2020

[Logan Glasgow, founder, lead singer and drummer for Verbose, sent me this song with this note: Hello Mark, my band Verbose has a new song coming out next Friday. I wrote these lyrics in dedication to the thousands who marched for civil rights this year only to be met with pepper spray, rubber bullets, and tear gas by the police. I would love for you to get a first listen and hopefully give it a spin on your show. Here is “Flash Bang Johnny” Much love! // “Verbose is a four piece alternative blues rock band from Joplin, Missouri. The band is made up of Logan Glasgow on vocals & drums, Cody Morris on guitar, Tim Cote on bass & vocals, and Zach Martin on Guitar.]

37. The Fey – “Tear It Off “ / The Record Machine / August 7, 2020

[New single that follows their last single, “Lost In My Head” released August 2, 2019, that followed the band’s July 13, 2018 EP Strawberry Lemonade. The Fey is a Rock/Soul sextet based in Lincoln, Nebraska. The band has created 3 EP’s under the alias “AZP”, but have recently made a name change to, The Fey. Charles Hull, Founder and Managing Director, Silver Street Records writes, The Fey is: Zach Watkins on lead/backup vocals, keys, percussion; Ishma Valenti on rap vocals; Trey Shotkoske on drums; Michael Rogers on guitars; John Fucinaro on bass, and Ludwing Siebenhor. Additional Backup vocals by Jasmin Ondap and Aly Millanes. Engineered and mixed by James Fleege at Silver Street. Mastered by Doug Van Sloun at Focus Mastering. Produced by Zach Watkins and James Fleege at Silver Street. Album art by Zach Watkins.]

Teri Quinn Photographed by Kelly Powell of Elements Studio Photography. Styling by Taylor Rivera

38. Teri Quinn – “Sweet Savannah” / Teri Quinn / February 26, 2020

[Produced and engineered by Chase Horseman at Element Recording Studios. Mastered by Joel Nanos at Element Recording Studios. For this recording: Landon Hambright on guitar, Matt Richey on drums, Joel Stratton on Wurlitzer, Molly Mclaughlin on alto flute, Chase Horseman on synth bass, and Teri Quinn on banjo and vocals. About this song Teri wrote, “While on tour, I had a rough time in Atlanta, Georgia and decided to rest and take a moment in Savannah, Georgia. The sea salt sunshine immediately revived me. The universe showed me grace and I fell in love with myself all over again. This is a love song to Savannah, Georgia.”]

39. Kian Byrne – “All The Love” / Kian Bryne / February 7, 2020

[Kian Byrne is a Kansas City based multi-instrumentalist. He plays drums in The Elders, and drums for Hi-Lüx, and bass for The New Riddim, and for YUM. This single will be part of a full length album Kian is releasing in March. This is a follow-up to Kian Byrne’s solo EP “Up & Down” (released July 11, 2018) that was #55 on WMM’ 118 Best recordings of 2018. More info at: kianbyrnemusic.com]

40. The Moose – “Ultraviolet” / The Moose / August 3, 2020

[The Moose is a psychedelic rock/pop alternative band from Lee’s Summit / Kansas City, formed in 2016 by Jake Hilger, Alex Huffman, and Tyler Frey with Emma Klein and Parker Tozier joining in 2016. The Moose released their debut full length album, The First Real Encounter, on Dec. 21, 2018. The Moose released the two song single “Through The Rainbow”/”Bell-Bottom Trees” on November10, 2019. The Moose joined us LIVE on WMM on July 10, 2019.]

Remy Styrk photograph by Tom Styrkowicz

41. Remy Styrk – “Boy” / Remy Sryrk / November 5, 2020

[Written, produced, and recorded by: Remy Styrk (@remystyrk). Background vocals: Alexis Black + Danzell Capers. Bass solo: Abram Shaffer. Mixed by: Ben Soiefer of Sandblast Productions. Mastered by: Colin Bryson of The Bunker Studio. Remy writes about this new release: “The number of times someone or something washed my hands clean, stood me back up, and gave me another try is unmeasurable. throughout my life i’ve experienced death, drug addiction, anxiety, abandonment, and pure fear. some days are filled with 5 to 7 panic attacks. others are quiet, however a moment of “calm” from complete mental and physical exhaustion seems unbearable, almost more dangerous than a day of anxiety. 2020 has been a catalyst for me. igniting everything i’ve been shoving under the bed and breathing life into a debilitatingly unpredictable fire. the biggest question every time i step outside my front door is, ‘will i make it back home alive today?’” 21 year old Remy Stryk lives in Leawood, Kansas, originally from Newark, New Jersey. This multi instrumentalist has been writing & recording music for several years. Remy Styrk is a sci-fi and thriller film composer composer living in KC. His work is informed by his life experiences, and his life experiences have been a tragic journey on a compact time frame. Styrk was born in Newark, NJ to a homeless heroin addict in February 1999. He doesn’t really know who his parents were, because he wound up in a semi-closed adoption. After birth, he was in the hospital for three weeks, clinging to life. At the age of 14 months, he was adopted by a couple, the husband, a fashion photographer and wife, a creative director, Tom & Deborah. When 9/11 happened and the family wanted to get away from the East Coast. Styrk’s adopted father Tom got a job at Hallmark in Kansas City, Missouri and the family relocated here. Sadly, not long after making the move, Remy’s adopted mother Deborah passed away from a sudden brain aneurysm. Tom quit his job at Hallmark to come home and take care of his kids in this terrible time. Remy’s father was pursuing a photography gig full time during this period, and that set the tone for his kids. Push through everything. Never give up. Dedicate yourself to what you love and work towards it each and every day. Remy began pursuing music. His family that supported his goals. At an early age they got him a guitar, and by age six he was already learning the drums. Remy found folk music, thanks to the relocation into KC. Folk music was new to Remy, and based entirely in storytelling. Remy leaned into that hard, because the storytelling allowed him to process his mother’s death, and the series of other traumas in his life. Remy told Brock Wilbur of The Pitch Kansas City, “I grew up black in a predominately white school system,” Styrk says. “I felt like an outcast but it didn’t make me want to give up on who I was. It pushed me to work harder on being who I want to be. I won’t change for anyone.” Styrk started playing with local bands. He moved from the DIY scene into rock and indie, but then found the famous KC blues scene– and his place within it. This series of genre dabbles prepared him perfectly to start scoring for film. In 2020 Remy was a guest on WMM on May 27, where he talked about his latest interactive recording project, “Of My Own Design” his 9-minute interactive album structured like an “Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.” Remy create pieces of music that all fit together to tell a story both musically and visually. He is asking listeners, to imagine and create the visual story. Scene descriptions can be between 2 sentences and 2 paragraphs. All will be posted on his website: http://www.remystyrk.com/interactive. “In 2019 Remy release “Winter/Summer” In 2018 Remy released “In Too Deep” one of 5 singles Remy has released in the last 2 years. Remy Styrk released the EP Sunday, on Jan 25, 2018 a follow up to the Aug 12, 2015 full length album, Telling Stories Through The Basement Door.]

42. Making Movies –”Everybody Wants To Rule The World” 3/2 Recordings / Mar. 20, 2020

[New Single from KC based 4-piece band and made up of : Enrique Chi on guitar and lead vocals; Diego Chi on bass & vocals; Juan-Carlos Chaurand on percussion & keyboards; and on drums. The band draws their influences from the origins of their families: Santiago, Panama, and KC Missouri, and Guadalajara, Mexico.

43. Krystle Warren & The Faculty– “Rising” / Parlour Door Music / May 31, 2019

[Technically released in 2019 we didn’t know about this single until 2020. This single was produced by co-founding member of The Faculty, bassist Solomon Dorsey. I was texting with Krystle over the weekend after the KC Bands Together weekend 6-hour streaming concert where Krystle shared three songs including a cover of Gerry Raferty’s “The Ark” from his 1978 album, City to City. Krystle was currently doing over dubs on “Rising” that will be included on the new Krystle Warren & The Faculty album called, “Extended Play.” Krystle told me that they had wanted to do album cover photos during a concert that was scheduled in Kansas City in March, but was cancelled due to COVID-19. Getting everyone together has not been possible. Krystle was hoping for a late 2020 release, but plans were put on hold and the band released an EP call The Crew covering 4 songs to inspire the Black Lives Movement of 2020. Krystle Warren learned to play the guitar by listening to Rubber Soul & Revolver from The Beatles. Krystle graduated from Paseo Arts Academy in 2001 and began her musical career in collaborating with area jazz and pop musicians. After living in San Francisco and NYC, Krystle was signed to a French label, Because Music, and moved to Paris to release “Circles” in 2009. Krystle played French and British television programs, including Later with Jools Holland, garnering critical acclaim and traveling all over the world with Rufus Wainwright, Nick Cave, Norah Jones, and Joan As Police Woman. Krystle created, Parlour Door Music, to release “Love Songs: A Time You May Embrace” a recording from a 13-day session in Brooklyn, where she recorded 24 songs live with 28 musicians including her band, The Faculty, alongside choirs, horn and string sections. Krystle Warren played KC Bands Together – A Livestream Concert Saturday, May 16. Krystle was our guest on WMM on September 23, 2020. Krystle Warren was our most played artist of 2020 on WMM.]

Nan Turner

44. Nan & the One Nite Stands – “Desert Nites” / Nan Turner / May 22. 2020

[Written by Nan Turner. Recorded by Mark “Dragon” Ospovat at SpeakerSonic Studios in Brooklyn, NY. Additional recording and mixing and production by Chase Horseman at Winky World Studios in Kansas City, MO. Mastered by Ian Dobyns. Nan Turner on Vocals and beats – Nan Turner; Mark Ospovat on Guitar; percussion; Chase Horseman on Wurlitzer, bass, & synthesizers; Dawn Yoder and Tracy Flowers on back up vocals. Nan writes: “I learned about existentialism at a young age. My Dad was a Philosophy Professor. Waiting for Godot and Archibald MacLeish’s J.B. were in my Ballet Bag for years. My mother + stepfather are libertarian folk that went to church, shot guns, and sold Amway. I’m not saying this song is about any of that. But it’s also NOT NOT about that. I started recording this song in 2017 with my good friend and collaborator Mark Ospovat in Brooklyn, NY. We laid down the foundation tracks of beat, guitar and vocals. Then I let the song lie…..because I didn’t know how to finish it or where it fit in my oeuvre. I almost wrote ovaries. That too. (You do know that songs are like babies, right?) Cut to March 2020, Kansas City. Chase Horseman and I unearthed the tracks right before the quarantine. He sat down at the Wurlitzer and played some notes and suddenly the song made sense to me. Of course it needed Wurlitzer! Through Chase’s arrangements of keys and other instrumentation, and Dawn and Tracy’s backup vocals (shoutout to KC one nite stand dancers extraordinaire)…I knew the song was finally there and it was time to release it into the world.Thanks so much to both Mark Ospovat and Chase Horseman for helping me realize the song’s potential and also for adding your own inventive arrangements. It was a One Nite Stands Magical Collaboration from NYC to Kansas City. BOOM. Nan Turner is one half of the critically acclaimed band Schwervon! Nan has been called the “Lucy Ricardo of Indie Rock. This is aa follow up to Nan’s solo EP Champs and Losers, Version 2 released July 12, 2019 Recorded, Mixed, and Co-Produced at Winky World in Kansas City, by Chase Horseman. Mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music, New Windsor, NY. Ian Dobyns plays drums and Chase Horseman plays bass. More Info at: http://www.nanturner.bandcamp.com]

45. Broken Heart Syndrome – “Hard To Be Boring” / Olive Juice Music / Feb. 14, 2020

[Kansas City based supergroup Broken Heart Syndrome, is Matthew Roth (of Schwervon!, Major Matt Mason USA) on songwriting, vocals & guitar, Pat Tomek (of The Rainmakers) on drums & percussion, Dave Tanner (of The Depth and The Whisper) on bass and backing vocals, Todd Granthem (of The Quivers) on keyboards. This recording was engineered and co-produced by Pat Tomek at Level Stage in KC, MO. This is the third single release from the band and is follow up to their September 13, 2019 release of “Dolly (and other unfinished business)”. ]

46. Major Matt Mason USA -“Victims Of The Storm” / Olive Juice Music / July 20, 2020

[Major Matt Mason USA is the the recording project of Matt Roth who also plays in the bands Schwervon! and Broken Heart Syndrome. The song was self produced with Brian Hurtgen on Drums and Dane Bridges on Bass at Olive Juice Music, Matt’s home studio in Shawnee Kansas. Victims of the Storm is meant to convey the collateral damage that can occur from difficult relationships while at the same time expressing the universal connection that we all have through suffering that occurs beyond our control. Matt Roth on guitar & vocals, Brian Hurtgen on drums, and Dane Bridges on bass. https://majormattmasonusa.com%5D

Cody Wyoming and Kimmie Queen on the April 29, 2020 edition of WMM on KKFI.

47. The Guillotine Choir – “What Tomorrow Brings”/ The Guillotine Choir / April 29, 2020

[The Guillotine Choir is an electronic rock band and the musical side project of Kimmie Queen and Cody Wyoming of The Philistines, and Justin Muschinske of The Widows Ride. Invoking the imagery of a late night journey through a cold war Berlin, the synthesizers sizzle and crash and beat against the wall, as the music searches for signs of light and freedom across dark urban landscapes. Cody Wyoming is also a guitarist with The Pedaljets. Cody went to Park Hill High and lives in Kansas City, Missouri with Kimmie Queen who he has been in a relationship with for 15 years. Cody grew up in Enid, Oklahoma.]

Belle & The Vertigo Waves

48. Belle & The Vertigo Waves – “Pulse” / Drop Out Records / April 17, 2020

[New single from Belle & The Vertigo Waves, the sonic brainchild of Belle Loux.. She resides in Kansas City, MO, and is slowly attempting world domination. Members include Belle Loux on lead vocals, John Loux on guitar. Belle & The Vertigo Waves are releasing a new single on April 17, with a new music video at the band’s instagram page @thevertigowaves. Belle & The Vertigo Waves joined us on WMM on February 5, 2020 and in 2019 in the summer. More info at: http://www.thevertigowaves.com The band’s debut full length album “Aligned” was released on October 6, 2017. About the album, Belle told Michelle Bacon at The Bridge that, “Many of the tunes had been written around five years prior, when I was just 15 or 16.” Belle had only played them as a solo artist with occasional accompaniment from her dad, guitarist John Loux, and keyboardist Charlie Hibberd. In 2017, she hired the two musicians and a couple other friends to track “Aligned,” dubbing the project Belle and the Vertigo Waves, in the hopes that she’d eventually assemble a live band. “Recording was a surreal and emotional experience. Playing the songs with a band was like seeing them come to life,” she said. “I knew there was no way I could be a solo artist anymore, because I fell in love with the full band sound so much.” The music of Belle & The Vertigo Waves have been described as having an “1980s pop-laden sound.” which drew local attention in 2018. Belle has said that in the past 4 years the band has grown to have more of a darker, glam rock sound, grittier and grungier. Their sound is influenced by three generations of musicians in the band, Belle’s growth as a songwriter and singer, and through the band’s work with engineer and producer Paul Malinowski. Belle & The Vertigo Waves are currently recording new music at Massive Sound Studios. Belle & The Vertigo Waves release a new EP, and new video later this year.]

49. Fred Wickham Caravan – “Town Without Soul”/ Black Site Records / August 27, 2020

[The first single from the Fred Wickham Caravan’s upcoming debut LP tells of a place we all know, that city where something just ain’t right Fred Wickham on vocals & guitar, Marco Pascolini on pedal steel, Bart Colliver on piano & accordion & vocals, Richard Burgess on upright bass & vocals, Fred Wickham, Jr. on mandolin, Matt Brahl on drums & percussion. Music and lyrics by Fred Wickham. Produced by Fred Wickham Caravan. Recorded at The Nutthouse Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Engineered by Jimmy Nutt. Mastered by Chad Meise at Massive Sound Studios in Kansas City, MO. Fred Wickham is best known for his work with Hadacol, the Kansas City based quartet that released two critically acclaimed records and gained a national reputation for ferocious live shows across the country. The Caravan, formed to support the solo album, Mariosa Delta, blends country, soul and rock & roll into a sound that can only be called pure Americana. More info at: http://www.fredwickhamband.com]

Stacy Busch

50. Stacy Busch – “Memory” (She Shed: When is the Time) / Stacy Busch / June 17, 2020

[“What is certain is that Busch is an important emerging compositional voice, fearless in its vulnerability, and able to pull disparate musical genres into a cohesive whole eithout artifice.” -KC METROPOLIS. Stacy Busch is a composer and performer. Her concerts and productions are designed to be provocative yet accessible in order to cultivate broader artistic interest and, in particular, reach under-served and/or misrepresented communities. Stacy is the founder and president of No Divide KC, an arts and social justice non-profit that creates artistic events for social causes. Artistically, her work deals with internal conflicts that are often taken abstractly from her personal experiences with addiction and bipolar disorder. These experiences of duality both in the mind and body are universal and her work expresses this underlying human vulnerability. Stacy’s work has been performed nationally as well as in France and Iceland. In 2020, Stacy is composing / performing the new music and theater production, When/Time in partnership with Charlotte Street Foundation. The Mid America Freedom Band is premiering her double concerto piece for two drag queens. No Divide KC is producing “Stories from Under the Stars” a storytelling event focusing on homelessness in Kansas City as well as the 1st Annual Queer Narratives Festival. Recently, Stacy released a new project and subsequent album, titled Mass, which she premiered at MTH Theater. Stacy has performed at Splice Electroacoustic Music Festival, she scored the documentary “The Ordinance Project” which premiered at the Kansas City LGBTQ Film festival, she partnered with Gilda’s Club KC, Owen/Cox Dance Group and Charlotte Street Foundation to compose and perform the music for “Collective: Our Stories of Cancer,” other service with No Divide KC includes partnerships with the Kansas City Ballet School and the Johnson County Library. In addition to Kansas City, Stacy’s work has been featured at the University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, Western Michigan University and Central Michigan University. It has also been performed by ensembles including: loadbang, Bent Frequency and the Beo String Quartet. She is a 2020 Charlotte Street Foundation Generative Performing Artist Fellow. Stacy has received grants from ArtsKC, ArtSounds, Charlotte Street Foundation and the UMKC Women’s Council. Stacy received her MM in composition from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and her BM in composition from Western Michigan University. Her teachers include Rome Prize winners Paul Rudy and James Mobberley as well as Pulitzer Prize winners Zhou Long and Chen Yi. Other influential teachers include Guggenheim Fellow Curtis Curtis-Smith, Christopher Biggs and Lisa Coons. Prior to studying music, Stacy studied print journalism at Boston University.]

WMM’s 50 Favorite Singles of 2020

Tune into Wednesday MidDay Medley throughout December for our 4-week series: The 120 Best Recordings of 2020, on December 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th. This is our celebration of the year in music based on the playlists of this little ole radio show. In 2020 we’ve played from over 400 New & MidCoastal Releases. We conducted 131 interviews with 156 special guests in 2020.

The text in our playlist is a “cut and paste” of information.
Sources for notes: artist’s websites, bios, wikipedia.org

Wednesday MidDay Medley in on the web:

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