Friday, March 10, 2017

Teddy Midnight - Tripping into something funky and different with Velvet Blue

Woah.
What in the world did I just put on? This is not me. This is not what I am used to. I like it.

I think my jam head husband likes that I have been exploring his scene a bit more. I think he delights in the fact that once in a while, I tell him he is right about something. We met over music. We bonded over music and it's something that we continue to bond over every day since. We get our beer on and sit in the basement talking about songs that moved us at some point in our life and then we bring it up on our phones and talk about it. I will bring up some random Sting song and go, "YO! THIS! LISTEN TO WHAT HE DOES HERE!" and then make some stupid, half in the bag gesture and he will do the same. Lately, he has been passing me some pretty interesting stuff.

I have never been a huge fan of electronic music. I like to dance, though I am immensely bad at it, but the music I dance to has to make me feel something in my guts or it just seems empty. Any beat can make you move, but the beats need to have something behind them. This has created a real love/hate relationship with dance music for me. My roots are in folk rock, punk rock, ska and reggae. I dabbled in industrial in the early 90's and that was as close as I ever got to feeling something when I was moving to electronic sounds. In the last decade, alternative radio has handed me a few gems along the lines of what I am talking about. Bands like Phoenix and MGMT touched on it a bit, and I found myself a little more drawn in. I realized I guess in this process that what I was seeking does in fact exist, although there are a lot of variations on sounds, motivations, and most importantly - musicians.

Its' a very different concept when real players make dance music. I think that in my searches, this is what was really missing. I want to move, but I want to feel it. Beats alone don't do it. I need to feel the vibe come through the music.



Enter Teddy Midnight.

Now this is what I was talking about.

This conveys emotions, ideas, and vibes with every beat it delivers. I have been playing their 2016 release Velvet Blue a lot lately. I pop in into my headphones while I am at work. I put it on in the car during my commute. This album is uniquely both calming and energizing. The first track I dig is Velvet Mist. It has such a mellow smooth dance vibe. It's like dancing ear Xanax. I really can't figure out a better way to describe it. It feels like heading out somewhere without worry. That feeling you get when you are on your way to a show and you have gas in your car, money in your pocket, and the sky is clear. It's smiles. It's relaxed but excited. I think that was a good jumping off point for me with this album.

But wait. Don't go thinking that this is a one trick pony album because it is not. Bump your track to Blue Dreams. What is this funky goodness? This song is sexy as hell. It's got synth for days, but it's got such a soulful vocal happening from Amy Grace (who I now have to explore also because holy shit on that voice). There are songs that make you walk a different way when you hear them. You have an extra swing in your hips. You toss your hair a little more. You might pass yourself in the mirror and give yourself a little sultry eye. Yeah, that is this song. Just...wow.

Hop on over to Popo Jijo next and you are treated to some really funky and prominent bass action. This makes me move. This is what I am talking about. This is dancing, but you can FEEL what is happening here. This is dancing with a blend of synth, drums, bass, and guitar happening in a perfect layer cake. I am such a vocal whore. I love songs sometimes that are absolutely terrible just because the vocal gets inside me somehow. This is mostly instrumental and that is so entirely new for me as a concept of enjoyment. This song changes several times. Your movements as an audience change right with it. These songs are telling you stories. Popo Jijo has a really cool build up about 3/4 of the way through that I love. It brings you up the hill and slides you down nice on the other side.

I went on over to do some reading about these gentlemen at teddymidnight.com because now I am curious. In the bio, the describe themselves as "Cultivating their own unique spin on time tested genres of House, Jazz, Acid, Fusion, Funk, Dub, Hip Hop, Prog Rock and Metal". I think that is about as accurate as a description of an artist gets. You are getting a great big basket of good times

Boner Vista Social Club. I need to ask these guys what inspires their song titles because that one has to have a story. This song is complex and I dig the hell out of it. I hear the prog rock and metal influence in this one, but its still funky as hell. It goes from dark and brooding to mellow funk. It's so layered.

Teddy Midnight is just plain INTRIGUING to listen to. They are fascinating. It's this trip between dancing with friends in a field to journeying on a mental mission to find great secrets and answers. There is so much going on. This is not just music for the dance. This is music for the mind. No two songs are doing the same thing so every track is something new to explore.

This is another band I am really excited to go out and check out live because if it's this fun in my ears, what would it be when the sound is all around me?

Must listens on the album: Bend - Funk and guitar out the wazoo. Dance your ass off. Blue Dreams - Like I said, sexy as hell. You will get it when you hear it. You will walk with a little more sass too. I guarantee.

Check these guys out. They have shows all over in coming months. You can find their show listings here: https://teddymidnight.com/shows-1/

Get out there and check them out. Maybe I will see you there. We can dance! Don't laugh at me.


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