Houston Music

Kam: Bamitskam EP

Pop quiz: What do Los Skarnales, country music and the Baptist Church all have in common? If you said, "White people love them all," you'd be, well, we guess technically you'd be correct, but in this instance, you're wrong. The actual answer is Kamera Franklin. Known more succinctly in Houston music circles as Kam, this relative newcomer to the scene joined her first band in 2004, but the sometimes standard-R&B, sometimes neo-soul, sometimes experimental hip-hop head has used this all-­encompassing approach to carve out a niche. Her latest EP, Bamitskam, falls directly in line with her flibbertigibbet M.O. "Jam" is a nu-black ballad that, if you squint, intermittently sounds like Me'Shell Ndegeocello, while "Rollup Ninja" is the type of progressive hip-hop that could make Bahamadia green; moreover, neither song sounds like anything else on the EP. But for all her bouncing around, mostly Kam doesn't come off as forced. (We'll pretend like we skipped past the Freddy Jackson-esque "Understand.") And what might be criticized as her less-than-­stellar voice somehow resonates as more enjoyably raw than amateurish. All in all, Bamitskam gives reason enough to anticipate a full-length CD.

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Shea Serrano