@@@ Saint Etienne: Pond House (Heavenly, 2021) A couple of listens today off this week’s All Music notable release email. This is the second track and it’s a lush indie mellow banger with Fleetwood Mac style singing, a decent but pretty straight beat, some dubby but whitebread basslines and some pong melody action. Overall it’s not a slack energy and you can trip out on it while I think maybe some more funk might help it out, it’s pretty straight in it’s path. Boy she really means it when she sings ‘here it comes again’ because that’s pretty much the only line she rocks here. I’m peeping the beginning of the next tune and it’s got a set it and forget it type feel to it as the last one, in fact it’s more static than that one. So nice indie electronic sounds, not a lot of motion. Not really my thing. The sounds are, but the presentation not so much.
@@@ Eric Bibb: Emmett’s Ghost (Mascot Label Group, 2021) This track is an acoustic blues with a guest appearance by Ron Carter on upright bass. The production is awfully intimate, especially the presentation of the voice that leads to a different listening experience. It’s the blues but it’s pretty chill and more poetic than what I usually associate with the genre. Lyrically he keeps mentioning Emmett Till’s ghost and then he brings in a pretty slight keyboard part that sounds ghost-ish. Tastefully done for sure. I’m giving a quick listen to the second tune and while it’s driven by acoustic guitar there’s electric guitar. Recent electric blues is not known for its modesty but I like Bibb’s playing and arranging here. He is rightly concerned with larger issues facing black people and American society. The blues are an older form but this is a fresh take with the upright bass, the stripped down non-macho sounds, I like it.