I don’t really follow the Grammys, and I didn’t watch this year’s show. But there was an image I saw, maybe a still from a video rather, of Thundercat, Anna Wise, Bilal, and company up on the stage accepting the award for “These Walls.” That was awesome to me. “These Walls” was a stand-out cut on To Pimp a Butterfly, and stood as my favorite song off the LP for a while there. It’s luscious and rich, well-planned and well-executed. Above all, it’s damn good music, and no matter what you like or don’t like, you can’t really deny that. It’s objectively good music. I stand by that.
“These Walls” winning a Grammy might not mean anything in and of itself, but it is apart of a movement that’s going on right now. Real music is coming back into style, after a couple decades of pop bullshit governing the charts. Artists like Kendrick Lamar have brought Flying Lotus, Thundercat, Kamasi Washington, Bilal, Anna Wise, and more into the spotlight because he likes good music, and people are into following good music right now. Sure, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift are still running the Billboard charts, but the internet has leveled the playing field, and the musical middle class is as rich as ever.
Space Captain can happily fall into the current sound of soul-influenced vocal jazz, with an experimental sound that isn’t unlike Hiatus Kaiyote, Bonobo, Esperanza Spalding, or Flying Lotus at certain moments, but in all it stands as its own unique sound. Their new EP In Memory is like “These Walls”…luscious and rich. There are moments made to make you relax, others that make you want to dance, and for most of its duration you’ll think, “damn if this isn’t a beautiful sound.” Check it out below, and go see them at Khruangbin’s New York City debut show on March 15th. That show is sold out, but if you hold tickets, definitely get there early.
Check out their earlier tunes as well…