New Music Friday (April 10th): Goose, Gorillaz and Anderson Paak

Hello my people. I’d imagine your week went as strange as mine given our current situation under quarantine. Thank god we still have good jams out there to keep us occupied and feeling good. To be honest, been completely slammed with work to the point where I had to delay this a day, but it’s Saturday (praise Jebus) and now I can actually dig in. Here’s a few I’ve been particularly enjoying this week:

1. NEW Alive and Well – Goose (2020) – What an incredibly pleasant surprise this was this week. New Goose Live album? Sure. These guys were introduced to me in late 2019 – a fresh face on the jam band scene, they incorporate a lot of elements of Lotus with upbeat drum tempos, fast-paced and intricate jamming, but they also have plenty of frequent Phish and Moe influences, most particularly in their slower and med-tempo pieces. On top of that, you can hear reggae, blues, jazz and funk influences at every turn. I love their funk sound, reliance on keyboard and drums with is an excellent complement to the vocals and guitar playing – they can capture such a great range of styles in very high quality. Essentially, they sound like they’ve been around and playing together much longer than they actually have been. Check out Arcadia, Tumble, Lead the Way, Hot Tea – and their older work. 9/10

Some pretty hot fire content right here from the young Goose.

2. NEW Song Machine Episode 2 – Gorillaz (2020) – If quarantine means some old artists coming out of the wood work, I’m all for it. The UK-based Gorillaz were on top of their game in the late 2000s and early 2010s, and I was never a massive fan but always loved their unique sound and cartoon likenesses. They’re different, which sometimes is enough. But they also have music chops, too – and were right there at the start of the electronic-music revolution, although they are not by any means completely “electronic” (also a mix of alternative and art-pop). Hits like Dirty Harry and Feel Good Inc. will live forever. While these aren’t necessarily in the same echelon, definitely worth a listen and I’m happy they are still influencing the music scene even in a small way. 7/10

3. NEW No Way, Get Real – Deadmaus + BSOD (2020) – New EP from Mr. Maus and Steve Dudas new project, pretty cool stuff. Steve Duda is the founder of XFer which is a software/instrument/effect plugin company – very interesting and cool dude if you are interested in learning more. I love this EP because you can tell these guys are just experimenting and enjoying the music-making process which each track. Not that it’s particularly groundbreaking stuff, but its certainly different and fun, and I think it speaks to Deadmau5’s continuing determination to push the genre further even as the years go on, which is more than admirable. Lots of high-tuned synths, Deadmau5’s familiar 808 kicks and a little something new with Duda’s influence makes this a collaboration I will be paying attention to moving forward. Afterburner and Fives are my favorites. 8/10

4. Ventura – Anderson Paak (2019) – I am a massive Paak fan. My buddy Elijah and I saw him live to close out the Montreal Jazz Festival with the Free Nationals back in 2014(?) before he had blown up, and we were completely floored by his talent. The guy is not only an excellent drummer, but a superb vocalist. He combines elements of hip-hop, jazz, funk and soul so seamlessly that he can create a perfectly unique sound that is truly “his”. While his earlier work is more hip-hop based, everything that has come since has been more upbeat and soul-funk focused. In Ventura, he brings together artists like Andre 3000, Lalah Hathaway and Nate Dogg – who I’d have to imagine are some of the artists lining out the door wanting to work with this guy right now – which are all excellent. Not only is he a good artist but hes a great dude as well. Super charitable and generous, and incredibly funny and fun. I follow him on Insta and am constantly checking his stories where he often teases new music. Hes happy, fun and dude has the best smile anywhere. If you’re looking for a mood boost, Anderson Paak is your mans. I’m expecting MASSIVE things from this guy later this year. Stay tuned. 9.5/10

5. nagutok – Flughand (2019) – I’ve found a lot of my favorite things to listen to during quarantine are mellow, down-tempo, trip-hop + hip-hop instrumentals. They’re relaxing, calming and still vibey enough to keep you interested. While there is certainly a ton of it out there, I’ve been enjoying Flughand lately, particularly his 2019 release here. His new (2020) track Geta is also great. His music puts you at ease and has a very reflective quality to it. Also check out mt. fujitive, Saib, Toshiki Hiyatashi, Feverkin, Mr. Carmack, etc. for a similar vibe. 8/10

6. Black Sands – Bonobo (2010) – Continuing with my theme of relaxing instrumental content, I have been enjoying (as always) my Bonobo this week. This was the album that got me into Bonobo who remains today one of my absolute favorite, and most listened-to artists. Bonobo is a UK-based songwriter who incorporates worldly beats, jazz, instrumentals and electronic sounds into artfully crafted masterpieces on a regular basis. He has this amazing ability to make great works from start to finish, but each song is very much its own adventure and element that can be enjoyed individually. You can tell the precision and care that goes into his work – just look at his live shows to get an idea for what I mean. This album will make you happy, excited, motivated, pensive and relaxed all at the same time. It’s best listeded to straight through: Prelude into Kiara is all time, Kong, Eyesdown, Stay the Same and Black Sands. A little something for everyone! Take a look at some of his other technically brilliant work (can you tell I like this dude): Dial (M) for Monkey, Migration, Days To Come. 10/10

Stay safe out there humans. Peace and love!

RIP – John Prine:

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