Happytime Randos: Bosley, L’Eclair, Arp, Emantive & Shy Layers

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Bosley: Unreal Fire

Here’s a batch of new or newish music that I think you should be listening to if you haven’t already been hip to them. The only thing that ties these albums together is that listening to them makes me happy in the same sort of way. We’ll start with Bosley, that is, Bosley Brown, the funky “alter-ego” of Thomas Mayer out of Baltimore. His third album is Unreal Fire and it is a revelation of soulful boogie music – a kind of throwback sound that feels completely modern and unshackled from the historical greats that influenced it. This is feel-good R&B, a dance party in waiting and a perfect antidote to whatever’s got you down lately.

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L’Eclair: Polymood

The next one on my you-must-hear-now list is from L’Eclair. These guys are out of Geneva, Switzerland and recently on the Beyond Beyond Is Beyond label who seem to have the magic touch when plucking these kinds of finds out of thin air (or parts of Europe). The thing is, the BBIB team usually has some deep, out-there, mind-bending psychedelia to offer up. But with L’Eclair’s Polymood, we’ve got something a little bit different, something delectably groovy. The instrumental band’s music is anything but Swiss neutral, but a decidedly funky and totally singular sound. This is can’t-put-it-down, smiling-for-days good, I think you’ll dig.

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Arp: Zebra

Next up is Arp, the performs-as name for the music of Alexis Georgopoulos. On Zebra, he takes the good bits of so many different influences and synthesizes them into his own thing. The music here is meditative and expansive and groovy, at times on the surface and others a deep, multilayered thing. There are simple, almost tribal elements and modern, futuristic feelings mixed together. It’s also really freakin’ good, one of my favorites of the year! Check it out!

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Emantive: Earth

Longtime followers of RecommNeds are well aware that some of the most progressive, forward-looking, I-guess-we-can-call-it-jazz, jazz music comes out of the United Kingdom. Not sure what’s in the water over there, but keep it coming. The latest on my radar is Emantive, led by drummer Nick Woodmansey and very much spinning in the same galactic family as many other Brit favorites. The collective’s new album, Earth, is a revelation of interstellar mind-boogie that is guaranteed to make your brain and body happy. There is a ton of stuff going on in here and it’s all fantastic. Don’t worry with labels here, this is a must-hear. Put it on at your next party or just slip on the headphones and lose yourself to it.

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Shy Layers: Midnight Marker

Are you feeling good yet? Great! Me, too. Still, I’ve got one more for you that I’ve been seriously digging since the spring and have been wanting to include in RecommNeds pretty much since and now’s my chance! The album is Midnight Marker by Shy Layers. Shy Layers is the musical project of musician/producer JD Walsh, who combines live and programmed rhythms, guitar, some vocals and more. The soundscapes are beautiful with a beat and utterly addictive and man, do I love this record. Give it a shot, I think it’ll put a smile on your face. Enjoy!

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