Attic Empire - Astro Getaway (album review)

Attic Empire
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In their bio, L.A.-based seven-piece band, Attic Empire, defines their evolving sound as being space funk. It’s a solid and honest description of their bold, unique sound, all highly evidenced on their first EP, Astro Getaway.

Inside the four-track effort is a swelling of otherworldly funk fusion collecting a constellation of West Coast soul, funk, Latin, ska and jazz. The blend sounds unusual, a world away from conventional radio, but they aren’t playing to that crowd. Only the title track rings with an accessible dose of melody fit for radio play, thanks in full to the calm tenor coming from lead vocalist of Tyler Connaghan. Still, even he riffs, leaps with falsetto and sings with the heart of a neo-jazz disciple. 

In their bio, L.A.-based seven-piece band, Attic Empire, defines their evolving sound as being space funk. It’s a solid and honest description of their bold, unique sound, all highly evidenced on their first EP, Astro Getaway.

Inside the four-track effort is a swelling of otherworldly funk fusion collecting a constellation of West Coast soul, funk, Latin, ska and jazz. The blend sounds unusual, a world away from conventional radio, but they aren’t playing to that crowd. Only the title track rings with an accessible dose of melody fit for radio play, thanks in full to the calm tenor coming from lead vocalist of Tyler Connaghan. Still, even he riffs, leaps with falsetto and sings with the heart of a neo-jazz disciple. 

The exploration into rhythmic and sophisticated contemporary jazz picks up on “Between the Tides.” The opening funky bars of the song  ̶  owned entirely by the killer brass  ̶  are repeated in many other places in the song. The musicianship here is so riveting that it merits the full attention of EWF and Steely Dan fans. On the cut, you almost wonder if you’re hearing a reprise of “Kid Charlemagne.” 

Things slow down mildly on “Hands Unto the Sun,” but later pick up after the verses as the band shows off more of their super brass power. The astrophysics heard on Attic Empire’s pre-album slate might be a bit taxing for basic music junkies, but the organic soulfulness and spacey goo heard here is worth keeping both an eye and ear on. Recommended.

By J Matthew Cobb

 

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