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ArtsATL

Your Source For The Arts In Atlanta

Chelsea Shag: “Time to Get Strange” 

Chelsea Shag’s music is a kaleidoscope of sound that contains hints of John Mayer and Jimi Hendrix. The Nova Scotia-born Atlanta transplant moved to Georgia in 1996, and is often seen performing in puffy pink earmuffs, kimonos and bunny slippers. Southern living has left a mark on her careful, colorful blend of R&B, funk, folk and blues songwriting. “Time to Get Strange,” written in 2016, reflects the strange times she lived in then and especially now. “If my song can give you some glimmer of hope, or make you move, that’s enough for me,” she says. “Time to Get Strange” is her first release since 2018’s Satellites, a Janelle Monáe-influenced record packed with acoustic soul. Word is there’s more music to come.

— Lauren Leathers 

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Sarah and the Safe Word: “The Last Great Sweetheart of the Grand Electric Rodeo”

A haunting brew of 1920s jazz, Broadway and garage rock add to Sarah and the Safe Word’s multifaceted sound. The group — Sarah Rose (vocals), Keinan Dietrich (guitar), Susy Reyes (violin), Courtney Varner (viola), Beth Ballinger (keys) and Maddox Reksten (bass) — all identify as queer, and pride themselves on being a safe space for LGBTQ+ and beyond. “The Last Great Sweetheart of the Grand Electric Rodeo,” one of two songs recently released, is musically satisfying and full. Reyes and Varner are a force to be reckoned with on the strings. In the video, we follow all six members as they try to escape the clutches of a deranged country man. An interesting, but humorous, approach.

— Lauren Leathers 

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Nix the Scientist: “Pending”

The progressive rock sound of Nix the Scientist comes to life with the release of the band’s debut EP, Liftoff. Formed in 2019, the trio includes guitarist Christian Gerner-Smidt, bassist and vocalist Jack Reed, and drummer Alex Morrison. All three also play in the soul-flavored band ZALE, and their Nix the Scientist side project explores a harder-edged sound full of sonic textures. The first release from the EP is “Pending,” a song that carries a melodic British pop edge. Gerner-Smidt works as a biotech scientist in Athens, hence the band’s name.

— Scott Freeman

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Citizen Gold: “Woah!”

In the grand finale of ArtsATL’s studio sessions, Citizen Gold presents “Woah” live from Stanwood Studios. The group — Daniel Goldberg (vocals), Jonny Etheridge (trumpet), Reggie Leigh (saxophone), Ian Hunter Rowland (guitar), Mike Hatton (bass), Alvin Jones (drums) and David Purcell (DJ) — combines EMD music with classic soul to create a self-described genre of electric soul. Goldberg got his start with the Atlanta Youth Singers at age 11 and made his first mark on the city’s indie music scene in 2016 with the release of the single, “Let’s Dance.” “I really hope that somebody finds the message that they need to hear to help them get through the day,” Goldberg told ArtsATL previously. “I really want to bring people together and tell them that no matter how different we are, we’re still capable of working together and overcoming our differences.”

— Lauren Leathers 

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