Nov 17th, 2023
TheEEs‘ debut album Temptations Of Sound blends soul with latin, reggae, tropical grooves, psych, acid jazz and trip hop to cinematic sounds as well as spoken word and hip hop.
Opening track “Mother Earth“ begins with a spoken word quote from Archibald Lampman “we have not heard the music of the spheres…” sung by 20-year old Juliet Ada of German-Nigerian roots. This track is a groovy, life-affirming uptempo number blending acid jazz and afrobeat. Ada appears on 3 other songs: “Temptation Of The Sound”, where an offbeat piano plays the prelude to an experimental collage of reggae, trip hop and jazz, “Stand Up”, a hypnotic, psychedelic soul number that announces the light at the end of the tunnel, with wah wah rhodes, tremolo guitar and strings, and “If Only”, a relaxed and playful soul track where the lyrics were inspired by Rudyard Kipling‘s poem “If”.
“Con Sentimiento“ was the first single extracted from the album and moves in a pulsating field of psych, soul and latin. The inimitable voice of Cuban singer Arema Arega guides us through the story of the song. Arema was brought to the attention of a wider audience in the past by Gilles Peterson and has collaborated extensively with Bahama Soul Club. Special guest on this tune is Arema‘s lifelong friend from Cuba Regis Molina on flute and congas. Arega appears again on closing track “Open Up”, sending the mind on a musical journey from shuffling trip hop beats to dusty desert guitars and the sounds of wildlife
“Slight & Small“ was the second single extracted from the album and is based on a poem by the American lyricist Emily Dickinson. On it, German singer and actress Maike Jacobs interprets the introspective theme of the title in the form of a sensitive soul ballad, sometimes reminiscent of the aesthetics of a David Lynch film. A second poem by Dickinson was the inspiration for “Indian Summer”, interpreted again by Jacobs. Loose, relaxed vocal phrases over cascades of never-ending jazz harmonies whisk the listener away into late summer.
The only duet on the album is “I Mean Soul” with soul veteran Reggie Worthy and Jazzkantine frontman Cappuccino who share vocal parts in this smooth acid jazz track with catchy Rhodes, guitars and brass riffs as well as some nice wild solos. Rapper and singer Cappuccino appears again on “The Feel“, an extremely relaxed and positive reggae tune that kicks off with a real talking Fender Rhodes. While Reggie Worthy, formerly bassist for Ike and Tina Turner, appears again on “True Love”, where he tells us a story about love, wrapped in soul music put to the weird rhythm of an old Hohner beatbox.
‘Temptations Of Sound’ out on LP / CD / Digi on Nov. 17th 2023 via LOLA Records