ZULUZULUU & Sarah White on Star Tribune's Minnesota's best albums of 2016 (so far)

Minnesota's best albums of 2016 (so far)

Sarah White, “Laughing at Ghosts”

“I don’t care if they hear us,” Sarah White sings with a steaming urgency in “Siren,” one of the songs on her perfectly cohesive, filler-less five-song EP where the lines between love and war are blurred. The former Black Blondie and Traditional Methods vocalist came out of the dissolution of a longtime relationship and her short-lived space-funk band Shiro Dame sounding stronger and more determined than ever. “Huesos” kicks it off with a jubilant R&B/pop vibe, but by the slow-burning “Ghost” (with guest singer Lady Midnight) both the lyrics and music take on a new edge that will cut through any box she might be put in.

Zuluzuluu, “What’s the Price”

Much like White, this six-man collective of local hip-hop and R&B musicians — which includes velvety falsetto master Proper T, DJ Just Nine and rapper/beatmaker Greg Grease — at once sounds futuristic and retro, as its edgy electronic dabblings and psychedelic grooves bump up against hints of hazy ’70s R&B and dirty-minded Prince. There’s a proud and adamant Afrocentrism to their seven-song debut collection, especially the P-Funky title track. But hooks like, “She rides me like a bicycle seat,” prove these guys are out to have a little fun, too. The whole album is a smooth ride. (Zuluzuluu opens for Femi Kuti at the Cedar Cultural Center on July 15.)

full list at Star Tribune