Beatnik – Ravaged
A low-glow of 70s soft rock jazz fusion, Beatnik plays it cool with “Ravaged”. Full of a tremendous display of musicianship, the way that they fold and unfold the themes adds to the uncanny sense of grace. Instrumentally they incorporate a wide slew of approaches, from the groovy setting of the bass to the punchy horn section. Beyond the clear debt to the 70s, there are elements of funk, dub, and R&B that enters the fray. The true unifying message emerges from those incredible vocals that possess just the right aura of mystery behind them. Lyrics too maintain this spirit of cryptic for the way that they all work in unison in service of the tremendous rhythm feels majestic.
Everything seems to fall into place quite quickly, for they waste no time. Nods to groups like the Free Nationals in terms of their adherence to that very specific, very revered sound feels respectful. By allowing it all to blend into a singular whole feels beautiful. The colours that emerge from the melody adds to the sense of purpose that propels the whole of the sound forward. With a careful evolution of the approach it has a decadent quality to it, for there is a party atmosphere to the entirety of the thing that never truly stops, it only grows becoming more and more expansive. For the final stretch they truly let it all go in a way that feels earned.
Beatnik displays an off-kilter sense of swagger with the infinitely catchy joy of “Ravaged”.