Premiere: Boulevards Share New Single “Problems” | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Premiere: Boulevards Share New Single “Problems”

Electric Cowboy: Born in Carolina Mud Due out February 11th via Normaltown Records

Feb 03, 2022 Photography by Alec Basse
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As the title of his forthcoming record declares, Jamil Rashad, who performs under the moniker Boulevards, was born and shaped in the North Carolina Mud. As he describes, he grew up at the focal point of diverse scenes, exposed to everything from soul, jazz and hip hop, to indie rock, punk, and country.

Unsurprisingly, his upcoming record, Electric Cowboy: Born in Carolina Mud, occupies a similarly diverse nexus of styles. Though the dominant force on the record is a visceral funk base, Rashad lists as inspirations not only James Brown and Shuggie Otis, but also Bad Brains and Gang of Four. Rashad also has enlisted a diverse array of guests on the record, including Adrian Quesada of neo-soul act Black Puma, Colin Croom of Twin Peaks, Blake Rhein of Durand Jones & the Indications, and Macie Stewart of Ohmme. The result is funk at its most exploratory, raw, and irresistible.

The full record drops on February 11th via the New West Records imprint Normaltown Records. Today Boulevards has shared one last single from the album, “Problems,” premiering early with Under the Radar.

“Problems” is a slinking understated track from Rashad, less volatile or propulsive than previous singles. Instead, it finds Rashad in a more reflective mode, ruefully meditating on the troubles that have plagued him over his life. He sings, “Stretch my arm to get there / Ask my lord forgiveness / Been through hard times, it’s not fair / God above as my witness / Problems not gone away.”

But while his approach is more subtle and understated, the track does not lack Rashad’s talent for cinematic drama. Bluesy guitar licks and groovy basslines accompany Rashad’s charismatic vocal performance, later joined by a gospel chorus and strings, adding a dramatic filmic climax to the track. The track acts as the closer to the record and plays like Rashad’s titular electric cowboy riding off into the sunset as the credits roll, the law hot on his trail.

As Rashad describes, “‘Problems’ is about overcoming fear and tackling problems head on. I realized that even though I became sober and entered recovery, that sobriety wasn’t the cure to all my problems. Although I was sober, I still have to deal with problems from my past and the present. I am sober, but the devil will be knocking on my door always.”

Check out the song below. Electric Cowboy: Born in Carolina Mud is out February 11th via Normaltown Records. Pre-order the track here.


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