Twice recognized by local alternative weekly City Pages as the best R&B artists the Twin Cities have to offer, Minneapolis-based neo-soul octet The New Congress are preparing to take their game to the next level with the Oct. 27, release of sophomore album Anguish Love & Romance. The ensemble’s Booth debut and latest single, the LP’s title track, finds lead vocalist/guitarist Aaron “Orange” Cosgrove soulfully exploring the set’s titular themes over a laid-back guitar/bass groove accented by gauzy background vocals and subdued scratches (courtesy of DJ Dudley D). Halfway through, Talib Kweli steps up to the mic to give his take on the topic in a characteristically agile guest verse, opining that “There is no love without pain and anguish.” It should come as no surprise that TNC’s funky, spacey throwback sound (similar to that of Relax (Your Mind) singer Jason Caesar) has European listeners buzzing, but could they be too far ahead of the curve to find a niche in the American mainstream? As always, Booth listeners will have the final say.
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