On one hand you have the soul of a musician wandering an uncharted genre, you achieve purity this way. On the other, a lot of these songs sound like educated movie themes. They don't make music like this anymore. 

Some songs don't even have a dominant theme vibe, like the above Black is Black by Im & Dave. Now, you're getting a dated release stream here, but the actual reissue has a far superior sound quality. It must be a beautiful thing to listen to this on a brand new LP with today's technology.

I don't know about you, but my ears are ready.

As far as the track list is involved, everything is quality within the constraints of the era. I'd like to criticize the fact that they made a 10 track compilation album using only 4 artist variations, but it's 1970 and it works.

LP/CD/MP3 @ Studio One
Who's on the album?
  • Im & Dave
  • Lloyd Williams
  • Jackie Mittoo
  • Coxone Dodd, aka The Boss

Studio One is kind of a founding father-label, a first stir, a helping push towards ska, reggae, and their sibling genres. This compilation is from a rising peak in Jamaican music history, released in 1970 with artists that directly influenced that relaxed tropical vibe we still can't get enough of.

Like what you hear?
Look. Them. Up.

Maybe it was better back then. Maybe they've fixed the flaws and created other ones. Debate aside, Money Maker is a feast for reggae loving ears.

You can stream the entire album on Spotify.
It takes snooping to find music like this.

Polish beat-maker Emapea came out with this effort early this year, I just now found it and I have Jazzy to thank for that. The track's been made a little easier to find than most of the album its on, and for good reason.

Jazzy gives you a clear view of the main theme, lounge jazz turned beats.

Seeds, Roots & Fruits sounds like an effortless nod at relaxed creativity. It's very intricate, though. Very well composed beats and samples all layered to sound as organic as possible.

It's important to note they're still beats so repetition is inevitable.

Sometimes the repetition is more noticeable, It's gonna depend on the vibe of the track and the jazz samples infused into it, but there's rarely a boring moment regardless.

Stream/Buy @ Cold Busted
I recommend starting at the beginning and letting it run. The album title comes into play a lot more dramatically than I was expecting, and that was both a nice surprise and something I wouldn't want to spoil further to anyone who's gonna make the most of it.

There are still some limited edition vinyls on the store. I'm gonna see if I grab one of those when I can, but there's also a couple of CDs and cassettes if that's more your thing. Cold Busted uses the Bandcamp platform to distribute their music, so the digital files can be downloaded in sweet lossless goodness if you can appreciate that.

Connect with Emapea on
Jaunt made a cute pop rock sound, applied it to an entire EP, and demonstrated that you can be fluffy and inspired at the same time.

It's not like it's impossible, and it's not that it hasn't been done before. It's just that when you listen to a track like Hello, the album's opener, you don't normally expect a dedicated work of art. It's a wonderful surprise when that's what you end up with.


I can see Chat painted on a canvas in bright colors with emotionally complex silhouettes.

Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp

Lyrics and titles can help guide you, but it's so heavily reliant on how tangible a beautiful sound is, that I found myself lost in the effort before it was finished.

I didn't really love track 2, Gentle Reminder, but the way I see it, 5 out of 6 is amazing. Even if I wanted to nitpick, the fact that this is the kind of album that exceeds my already high expectations kinda makes up for a lot of non-existant flaws in the EP.

If you're feeling it the way I'm feeling it,
you might wanna connect with Jaunt on
Singer-songwriter Nao released this little gem a few days ago. After listening to Fool to Love and foolishly discarding the artist, it's now that I was able to embrace the entire album and understand what's going on.

Fool to Love was probably the best introduction I could have had, because its now months later and the track seared itself on my mind when it played on the LP.

I can almost smell the '80s influence, but it's very faint on Fool to Love. Other tracks like Inhale Exhale, Trophy, and Give Me A Little have a much more pronounced influence. Tracks like DYWM made me feel like modern Justice took a spin at producing something for her, and that's where the retro and the modern really meet. This is where Nao's coined wonky funk comes into play, and it's pretty much what the album's made up of.

What caught me was more than just music production with '80s influence done right. Her vocal melodies are pop, but classic pop. Pop with melody, with direction and grace. I have to love it because as someone who prefers production to vocals and verbal stories, she makes me enjoy listening.

iTunes | Vinyl & CD
Finally, tracks like Blue Wine show that she can be powerful while being delicate. And here, maybe, we see how the backing production can help influence her vibe. You can't have one without the other on this album, so I'm real curious to see how she plans to top it.

My interest if I were her?
Make this album resonate for years.

The material is all there, but a lot of the best tracks are already singles. At best she could pull three more out of it, And if you were wondering why you'd never heard her before, I don't know what to tell you, guys. I don't know how she hasn't boomed more. It's our own fault; listening to whatever else.

This is the good stuff.

Connect with Nao on
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