It’s the first Thursday of the month — and what a crazy last month I’ve had (appearing on Comedy Central, opening for Bikini Kill, graduating)! Now that it’s June I get to share a band/artist that I think you should be listening to all month long, and beyond. I had the honor of joining this month’s artist for two recent shows in Philadelphia and DC. Truth be told, I have been doing my best to take a step back, perform a little less, rest and write a little more, and get ready for my next album, gettin’ hitched, and starting my new postdoc at Brown. But when this month’s artist messaged me about doing some shows together (after being put in contact by my First Thursday pick from March, Maia Macdonald) and shared their music, I was instantly sold. They have created rich, soulful, textured, incredibly dynamic waves of THE most pleasing yet thought-provoking sounds and vocals I’ve heard in some time. It’s a delight to listen to whether it’s experienced live or on wax. And I love, love, love the Afrofuturist dynamic and storytelling of their work — I am endlessly grateful that I had the chance to see this group perform and wish them much success. This month’s artist is none other than the Oakland-based group Bells Atlas! Listen to their BRAND NEW ALBUM “the mystic” here. And check out my other First Thursday picks here.