BEST NEW ARTIST: BAMBOO SMOKE
London duo Bamboo Smoke has the kind of space-jazz bass that thousands of bedroom producers are trying to figure out in their home studios right this very second. Now they just have to throw their arms up in frustration after hearing these songs. “Goddamnit, they already did it. Time to move onto something else. How about Future Western Drone? No, that’s HBO’s Westworld. Shit!” A thousand monkeys in a room with a thousand typewriters and they couldn’t figured out how to make it work until Bamboo Smoke came along. And they make it seem so effortless!
Their sound is a bit of an etherial trip-hop vibe with unrefined edges keeping it in the underground. Their lo-fi freeform sound makes their tracks seem all the more fresh and inspired yet really nails home that subtle jazzy influence that they’re going for. Bamboo Smoke is the collaboration of vocalist-lyricist “Louise” and musician-producer “Tom." It bugs me that I can’t find their real, full names so I put them in quotes just in case they’re lying to all of us. This blending of beats, bass and bravado wouldn’t be nearly as strong without the other. Y’all have found your musical soul mate, hold on tight.
Their newest single “Sleepless” feels like late nights, cold and foggy, wandering through London town with a sense of despair that could only be managed if you could get any of your emotions under control. Alas you can’t, and it’s another night out drowning under the weight of its all. Louise’s forlorn lyrics blend beautifully with Tom’s piano stabs and lost guitar licks. This song is as abstract as it is measured and a pitch perfect representation of the many sides of this beautiful, exciting new project.
“Shy” feels like a freeform smoky jazz composition that would make the greats jealous. Well not like the greats, they’d be confused. But you know what I mean. IN THEORY. Complex rhythms and understated, overlaid vocal melodies make for an instant elects-jazz classic that’s probably going to go unheralded well into the next decade. But this gorgeous display of genre bending will stay with those of us in the know for many years beyond that. I’ll keep this little gem to myself. Wait, damn… I already told you about it.
“Treehouses” has got a funky beat, jazzy horns and a hook that you can really sink your teeth into. This one is a lot more playful than their other tracks and in my opinion is their strongest one. This is the type of track that gets played over and over again by a 13 year old hiding out from their family in the backyard for a personal respite inside their own head. And it helps them through some tough times. Bamboo Smoke are going to mean a whole hell of a lot to a new generation of fans.
Are Bamboo Smoke the next Xx? Probably!
Cool curation from crazy curator Musical Heartbeat. Thank her personally somewhere.
From deep within the murky depths of the Los Angeles River emerged a creature: 50% raver, 50% comedian, 10% Robotcop. Kurt Kroeber doesn’t own a dog, operates Soundbleed (the world’s only dance party comedy talk show rave), and is down to party with you. Come up some time and say “Hey dude!” But definitely make sure to casually drop the secret Illuminati password.