Gotts Street Park – Volume One EP

The UK answer to BadBadNotGood.

Enough said?  If not, and if you have no idea about what I’m talking about, then definitely check out BadBadNotGood’s breakthrough album, IV, released last year off of Innovative Leisure Records, as well as their latest collaboration with Late Night Tales for probably one of the best compilation albums of recent memory.

Gotts State Park has to be in the same conversation as one of the best up-and-coming modern jazz bands to hit the scene lately, though they infuse their sound with a bit more atmospheric trip-hop.  As a comparison, Volume One features even less vocal pieces (a total of three) than their contemporaries, but these three are incredibly satisfying.  “Love in Bad Company” is the lead single from the EP, featuring heartbreaking, sultry vocals from R&B relative unknown Dielle, who shines on this platform while smoothly delivering lyrics about the trappings of doomed relationships.  “This World” features hip-hop London-artist Benny Mails, who does well with the dark, trip-hop track, communicating something gritty and grimy through the ambianic chorus.  You can almost imagine this song playing in the background, as you travel the back streets of London at 3:00am, steam rising from the streets while you turn your collar up, and move in the shadows.  “Control,” featuring Grand Pax, is the weakest, and most forgettable, of the three.

All the other, non-vocal tracks are there, almost like window-dressings, as they are no longer than a minute or two.  Yet, these are the tracks that make up the bulk of the album, and are ones I found myself replaying.  They are simple, yet keep the album together as what I like to call a late night traveler’s album.  When you are taking that flight late at night, looking down at the shimmering lights of some city, on your way to or from home, it’s a special kind of album that plays in the background, and Volume One is that album for me.  I can’t say that about too many, and so, when they’re found, I cherish and hold them in a special place in my mind.

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