Virginia Beach based musician Ana Khrizzia Velez is part of the band Community Witch and also performs solo under the name Grass Maiden. You can catch her solo set tomorrow (7/22) at Smartmouth Beer in Norfolk V.A. during their annual Norfolk Day block party.
Ana shares some of her favorite songs in this weeks edition of “Five For Friday”. Reflecting on her selections she said “I like to think of music as, something that is comforting or expresses the kinda mood/or mental state a person is in. I feel like as humans, we all tend to gravitate to music and things that give us that type of comfort… and to every person out there… that could be almost anything .”
“Music is truly such a great vessel for expression, comfort, vulnerability, authenticity, and happiness ” .
“Only A Shadow” by Cleaners From Venus
This song has always been a go to for a lot of my playlists. As soon as the intro hits introducing the minimalist drum beats with jangly guitars, the melody really lures you in but let’s you remember it’s melody before the verse starts.The verses are very straight forward and sassy. In my opinion, the lyrics paired with the music makes me picture walking down a street at night with all types of shadows looking around.
The pre-choruses even hook you as much as the choruses. I think what really sold me though on the song was the lead persons voice. A persons singing voice in relation to the music has always been important for me. It’s either a hard YES or hard NO when I hear a voice. This song was an easy YES! And I consider it a very hypnotic and easy going kinda song. Sooo.. I highly recommend this song and listening to the whole album start to finish!
“Too Many Creeps” by Bush Tetras
This song also has another alluring intro and unique vocals that call you to move your body and dance. It gives this sort of care free energy while the lyrics state that there are too many creeps. It was relevant then, and it is still relevant now. If anything, this song definitely pops into my head whenever an uncomfortable encounter happens and this song gives me comfort in my head.
“Hippie Hippie Hourrah” by Jacques Dotronc
I have loved songs in French and foreign languages for so long.. This song is one of my picks because it is another song I always come back to. It is another carefree type of song and doesn’t seem take itself too seriously. I love layered guitar tones(sounds like there may be 12 strings or classical guitars or harps, I’m not sure), the simplicity of the drums, and the French lyrics that just take their time as the story in French unfolds. I’ve been trying to learn French for the past year, it’s kind of funny listening to lyrics and trying to translate them.
“Mama Soukous” by Volta Jazz from their album Air Volta
This style of guitar playing and overall rhythm is one of my TOP TOP inspirations every day. Ethio-jazz is one of my TOP TOP TOP favs. The intricacies of the guitar melodies dancing with syncopation of the drums and other percussion instruments just work together so seamlessly. It sounds like they were having a great time just playing music and really locking into the rhythms.
The recordings themselves (to me) sound like they were so authentic without anything overly enhancing themselves…. It honestly sounds like it was probably a “one take” song. If it was cool! I love that, but if not… I still love the song and the whole album. This is also a song I find myself going back to over and over again to dance to!!!!
And while I was trying to look up the video for this song on YouTube, I found out that the main guitarist featured on that song is named Bobo Yeye!
Anyways I recommend listening to the volta jazz – Air jazz full album start to finish (if you enjoy the guitar style)… and then go look up ethio-jazz and spiral into that Bermuda Triangle of a realm.
“Lucky” by Dehd
This band is actually one of my TOP favs. It was hard to pick just one song tho. I chose this song because it was also on repeat for me. Especially in the summer time. I consider it another straight forward song with jangly western like guitar tones, with hypnotic bass rhythms, amazing vocal melodies/harmonies, honest and relatable lyrics, and minimalist drums that make a beautiful blend. I consider it like a modern -1950’s style with hints of moodiness and heavily layered with melodic vocals and guitar riffs that are upbeat and memorable that will make you sway.
I was stoked that I got to see them a year ago in NY, and I honestly would go see them again and again and again. If I could play a show with them, I would do that too. If anything, I highly recommend listening to this full album start to finish while you’re working on a project or wanting an album to listen to that sounds like the sun is out, the weather is warm, and there is a gentle and cool breeze…