Thursday 2 May 2024

'Lord Knows EP' by Lord Knows

Australia has certainly never lacked for musical talent - with such an array of contemporary soul artists and progressive takes on jazz, names like Mayfield, Benjamin Samuels, The Traffic, Kyoshi and Emma Donovan & The PutBacks have managed to create some stunning projects over the years and cement their distinct perspectives on a continually thriving musical scene.

With Melbourne proving to be a particularly impassioned hot bed of creativity, the Mandarin Dreams label has laid claim to some ingenious recordings over the years.  From the beat tape inspired 'Ahten-Love Transmission' by the Ahten Arkestra to the alternative neo-soul meets nu jazz aesthetic of Kuzichi Zambelan or the impassioned psychedelia of Raw Humps and their 'Sugar Slave Babies' debut.

Mandarin Dreams releases may be sparse but each one adds scintillating layers to the label's legacy of uncovering stellar Australian talent.  The label's latest entry into their burgeoning catalogue - and in truth an album that proves to be somewhat of a revelation for Mandarin Dreams - comes from the seven-piece ensemble Lord Knows who unveil their debut self-titled EP release.  An immaculate release that, once again, places Melbourne-based talent (specifically Naarm-based talent) into prominence.

As children of the beloved Soulquarian generation, Lord Knows have cultivated an exalted six-track project paying loving homage to the foundations as laid by neo-soul luminaries including D'Angelo, Questlove, Jay Dee and Erykah Badu; theirs is certainly a musical soundscape whose importance can't be over-stated and whose releases have gone on to shape subsequent generations of hip-hop-inspired soul music.  Beautifully performed, brilliantly produced... Lord Knows' vision is brought to life by Brandon Delord's elegant vocal that is afforded the luxury of a sublime musical backdrop.  While a stunning interpretation of neo-soul stylings, the EP delicately features a range of intricacies and subtle nods to varying musical facets that bring so much to the project's overall sound.  

Lord Knows approach this release with admirable confidence - exquisite performances, lush vocals and writing, they're a band who know exactly who they are and what they are striving to accomplish with their music.  The collective really do showcase a thrilling dynamic boasting enough of their own creativity, unique facets and over-arching vision to warrant their name mentioned amongst the litany of sensational Melbourne collectives.

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