Hannah Selin (vocals/viola), Nicki Adams (vocals/keys), Patrick Adams (trumpet), Arthur Vint (drums/percussion) and Daniel Stein (bass) are GADADU. In 2015 the band received top album honors on their debut And I See Night. They are back with Outer Song which is their best album yet.
I have heard a lot of people complain about jazz in my thirty-seven years on this planet. To be honest I get it. In many forms of jazz there aren’t many hooks and it can often feel like background music. It takes actively listening to many forms of jazz to appreciate it in my opinion. The little nuances in music is where a lot of the magic is. If you aren’t paying attention you will miss it. I feel like Outer Song may be an antidote to that music fan who always wanted to appreciate jazz but couldn't for whatever reasons.
The beauty in Outer Song is that the jazz melds into vocal hooks, avant garde compositions and multiple genres. It’s a genre bending album that is shifting so much and so often that even those with the deepest ADD will be satisfied. The amount of ground they uncover in these songs is epic.
Things get going with “The Lion.” You are greeted with orchestral swells, vocals and keys. It doesn't even sound jazzy until a little after the one-minute mark. Once the jazz comes into the song it’s the vocal melodies that drive the song. The amount of directions the song goes after that is simply best to be listened to.
“Exquisite Corpse” is another prime example of where a song can go. The vocals come in and out effortlessly. I found myself constantly interested in where the song might go next in an emotional and technical level.
That's not to say the songs feel completely arbitrary. “Julia” is a little slower and moody than what came before. It’s atmospheric and dreamlike the entire time. “Life” feels dreamlike in a different way as if you are shifting between dreams while “Makeshift Constellations” is upbeat, joyful and still goes in unique emotional pathways.
“Chided” is technical mastery and showcases free jazz to a large extent. “Train Blues” is filled to the brim with noises while the closer “Bay Songs” balances a staggering amount of crescendos while avoiding cliches.
From a technical perspective GADADU is borderline ridiculous. I find however that’s usually not the main reason people fall in love with an album or song. It’s the ability to define a shade of emotion within a pattern of musical energy that will create the connection. I for one felt that connection throughout the album.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook