Mayer Hawthorne Brings the Soul Brigade to Oakland + Photos

 

Photos by Kola Shobo
Words by Brandon Diaz

As if Oakland needed any more soul, they sure got it from Mayer Hawthorne‘s stellar performance at the Fox Theater in Oakland’s Uptown district.

The evening began with a brief but lively performance from curly-haired songstress, Gavin Turek, who strode about the stage with Tina Turner flair in a stunning lavender dress. As the theater filled, Danish soul duo Quadron stole swoons from the packed house as vocalist Coco O. took center stage with a stunning sequined ensemble and ruby red lips.

Their 45-minute set was filled with lively songs from 2013’s Avalanche, all ears clinging to Coco’s angelic voice, eyes affixed to her striking pant-suit dress and tasteful fingerwaves. Sans producer Robin Hannibal (technically one-half of the band), Quadron held attention as they ran through a set that included “LFT,” “Sea Salt,” and a breathtaking cover of Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor.”

And as that sweet perfume of soul music washed the crowd, Quadron finished, allowing Mayer Hawthorne and his backing four-piece band to bring the funk.
Emerging from a glowing broken heart at center stage, the Detroit-area native brought a convivial night of neo-Motown to the Fox. Sporting a royal blue two-button suit and a pair of Nike Air-Max sneakers, Hawthorne lead his band through a nonstop set of grooves that kept hands in the air with continuous jams from his sing-a-long songbook.

Read the rest after the jump

Staff Picks of 2013

 

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As 2013 nears its end, we continue our tradition of yearly staff picks summing up our favorite music from the 12 months past. This year is very special as we’ve extended our list makers to include Giant Step fam outside of the staff itself; many thanks to Maiya Norton, Nai Palm (Hiatus Kaiyote), Natasha Diggs, Rich Medina, and DJ Spinna for contributing their takes!

Amongst the most popular favorites were Disclosure‘s Settle, Rhye‘s Woman, James Blake‘s Overgrown, and Hiatus Kaiyote‘s Tawk Tomahawk. Dig into the complete lists and let us know your faves as well!

Giant Step Staff Picks of 2013

New Release: Yuna – ‘Nocturnal’

 

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Malaysian singer/songwriter Yuna tomorrow releases her newest album, Nocturnal. So far the project has shaped up quite nicely, including singles with production from Robin Hannibal and Chad Hugo.

Blending R&B and folk in a way palatable for indie and mainstream audiences alike, the young songstress is poised for immense pop potential. Watch her video for “I Wanna Go” below to get a taste of Yuna’s sound and impeccable style.

Enter our contest to win Nocturnal

Pre-Order Nocturnal on iTunes | Amazon

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