Indie exclusive, red and black swirl
“I was born in the North Carolina mud,” says Jamil Rashad, better known as Boulevards, one of the most idiosyncratic artists making music in the Tarheel State. His fourth album, Electric Cowboy: Born in Carolina Mud, is caked in the soil where he grew up, mired in the muck of this place—not stuck but freed. Grounded in personal experience and haunted by personal demons, Electric Cowboy is an album that reaches out, that embraces the world, that mixes the confessional and the communal. But the dominant sound—the dominant mindset—is funk: gritty, warm, weird, charismatic. Rashad once again composed and recorded with Blake Rhein, guitarist for Durand Jones & the Indications, after they had worked so well together on 2020’s Brother! EP. They corralled an all-star team that included Adrian Quesada from the Grammy-nominated neo-soul act Black Pumas and Colin Croom from the Chicago indie-rock outfit Twin Peaks.