Releases, Reviews and Reverie
By Stacey Mullings
Shout Out Out Out Out
Spanish Moss and Total Loss
Normals Welcome Records
After much anticipation on my part, and likely on the part of many Shout Out Out Out Out fans, the electro band’s third album, ‘Spanish Moss and Total Loss’ was released in July of this year, and as expected, it did not disappoint. When considering a band like Shout Out Out Out Out, expectations can be placed quite high. Time after time, they present a body of work that evidences just how passionate they are about their craft, and shows a level of expertise and artistry that’s pretty flooring.
The highly skilled and complex instrumentation found in Spanish Moss and Total Loss is so fluid and cohesive that it produces melodic and accessible pieces which is undoubtedly a science in itself. A myriad of instruments including two drummers, four bassists, analog synths, Rhodes piano, baritone guitar and saxophone work in unison to construct an album that is pensive, relatable, thought provoking, and just really cool. The mood is one of profound reflection. Lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Nik Kozub stated “As on our previous two albums, I sing through an old analog vocoder, and lyrically I try to tackle my own demons, dreaming of a life where I can just stay on vacation forever, not having to deal with being broke all the time or be reminded of personal failures.” Despite the heavy lyrical content, listening to the album from start to finish does not feel like a depressing or taxing experience at all, more of a journey through truly inspired sound.
Having seen Shout Out Out Out Out’s live performance on numerous occasions in different cities, I can say with conviction that they bring a certain explosive energy that ignites and already amped audience regardless of where they play. I think we can expect to see more great things from this band.
Pacific Standard Time
Day & Night Recordings
Filip Nikolic and Jeffrey Paradise, also known as Poolside, introduced their brand of contemporary groove soul pop with the release of their debut album, ‘Pacific Standard Time’. The LA-based duo’s relaxed, feel-good sound was an instant party favourite over the summer. Pacific Standard Time sets the scene for a chilled out beach party over looking a California sunset and makes it virtually impossible to sit still while listening. Poolside’s rendition of Neil Young’s Harvest Moon is a whole new take on the folksy classic, placing it under a downtempo beat.
Both Nikolic and Paradise had already earned the respect of music aficionados prior to teaming up together to create Poolside. They have worked with some notable artists in both the electro and indie rock genres. With Nikolic, playing with Ima Robot and touring with Junior Senior, and Paradise fronting The Calculators (members later went on to form The Rapture), they brought a strong fan base along with them when they decided to form Poolside. Being DJs of discriminating taste, Nikolic and Paradise put out a solid, 16-track album with the kind of music they would like to hear at a beach party or LA nightclub.
As the last of the few dog days of summer come to a close, Pacific Standard Time is definitely one to pick up at the record store, drop the needle and kick back. Thesecond track, ‘Next To You’ is a personal favourite. If Poolside makes a video for this one, they must cast Pam Grier!)