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Hometown Highlights: Wides, Samurai, Aprilmist + more

You are currently checking out a very exciting edition of Hometown Highlights. Shuttlecock is premiering the release of the song "Day1" by Wides. Give it a listen directly below and hear other incredible new tracks from other Lawrence and Kansas City musicians. Hip-hop, black metal, hardcore, indie rock, and more are represented. As always, there's something for everybody.

Wides - "Day1" [Shuttlecock Premiere]
If you read Hometown Highlights regularly or are a casual Lawrence concertgoer, chances are you've heard Wides by now. The experimental rock trio are back with their second recorded song titled "Day1." The six minute arithmetic-filled adventure features dramatic, hopeful-sounding riffs paired with frantic and frustrated yelps from vocalist and guitarist Kainen Spooner. The wondrously technical drumming of Gerardo Rojas on this song -- and any other by Wides -- is also too superb to not be noted. Wides is a highly talented rock band that is succeeding at being just as inventive as they are noisy.

Zarin Micheal - "I Might"
Rapper Zarin Micheal and his team of frequent producers and collaborators have reached an all-out sprint to bring Kansas City hip-hop to the mainstream. His new single "I Might" is his most dynamic and accessible song yet. The song features an irresistibly simple auto-tuned chorus and several clever lines about Micheal's superiority to his potential partner's exes. On his "Fuck You" EP, he proved that he could go bar-for-bar with nearly anyone in the city. With his lyrical dominance locked in, Micheal has now set his sights on chart dominance. This song was made to be performed with Micheal trotting across a massive stage with a theater full of kids jumping along and singing every word.

Samurai - "In My Sock" (ft. Vonce Waters)
Samurai is here to make hip-hop fun again. The young and "spicy" Kansas City emcee dropped his debut EP "Flames" a couple weeks ago and if you've heard it, you've danced to it. "In My Sock" is a Nintendo-sampling banger that could potentially take Vine and Twitter by storm. Throughout the track Samurai and Vonce Waters rap lightheartedly of stacking cash, blowing said cash, and shunning snitches and haters. What's not to love? Fans of Ugly God and I Love Makonnen will be pleased.

Aprilmist - "Barrier Of Illness"
Originally a solo project by Lawrence's Jon Houst, Aprilmist is now a full band with members from across the Kansas City metro. The group's debut EP "Bleak" is roughly 25 minutes of breathtaking atmospheric black metal. The closing track on the release, "Barrier Of Illness," begins with a punishing blast from the entire band. The song mellows out once or twice, but its intrigue and power is unrelenting for the entirety of its seven minutes.

Altered Beast - "Falling Apart"
After releasing one of Kansas City's hardest demos of 2014, Altered Beast is finally prepping to release their debut 7-inch. To drum up some interest the band has put out a two song promotional release. The first song on the release is "Falling Apart" -- a staple of the band's live sets. Vocalist Ryan Leach barks and growls viciously as the band stomps and chugs at full force behind him. The second song on this promo release is a cover of "Crazy But Not Insane" by New York hardcore legends Warzone.

Justinxshon - "OrangeRadio"
Kansas City beatsmith Justinxshon has made a quick return to Hometown Highlights with his new song "OrangeRadio." Guitarist Conor Schulte makes a guest appearance on this smooth and peculiar new cut. Vibrant looping and echoing drums pair smoothly with the bedroom pop-style guitar bits contributed by Schulte.

The Conquerors - "Wyld Time"
"Wyld Time" is the title track of the upcoming debut LP by Kansas City band The Conquerors. While immediately reminiscent of early material by The Strokes, extended listening reveals that the The Conquerors are much more than some indie rockers late to the scene. With smart-as-all-hell songwriting and a debt to British rhythm and blues, "Wyld Time" may be the catchiest rock song you hear all week.

The Xtraordinair$ - "Magic" (ft. Reggie B)
Kansas City production duo The Xtraordinair$ will release their second full-length titled "X Essential" on August 2nd. The 19 song album features contributions from numerous local hip-hop and jazz musicians and will undoubtedly be a stellar release. The sixth song on the album, "Magic," is a lush neo-soul tune with jazz funk vibes that call to mind several tracks from Janelle Monáe's "Electric Lady" album. Groove along to this thing one time.

Check out past Hometown Highlights updates here.

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