Friday, 13 September 2013


What a catchy song. It's really nice. Great groove. Great everything. What's wrong with that? Nothing. It's anti-wrong: it's right. It's good. It comes from ex-Beach Fossils bassist, John Peña (I love an "n" with diacritical tilde), in actual fact known for his solo music as Heavenly Beat. And I'd say that he's chosen a suitable name for his project, at least going by 'Honest' anyway: heavenly beat, heavenly groove, heavenly yes.

It comes from his upcoming second album, Prominence (the first being his debut of last year, Talent), scheduled for release 14th October dis yeer on Brooklyn-based label Captured Tracks. Apparently it's a song that expounds on the admission of guilt after infidelity. Can't hear any lyrics that discuss it but that's all I know. Sorry. On the other hand, it sounds great musically.

Beginning with some frantic nylon-string guitar sounds - something that becomes the theme of the song, a skipping heartbeat that goes with a guilty conscience I suppose - it soon descends into a lush journey of sounds. The beat is fresh and understated, aided quite substantially by the constant shuffle of shakers and with the groove of a melodic bassline. Peña's vocals are breathy and faraway, soaked in reverb, nearly whispered.

There are some lovely little melodies in this. Sometimes they come from simple three-note ditties on guitars, palm-muted snippets of funk, and synth horns, other times they are plaintive tunes on a harmonica or drips of a steel drum. At like 2:11 there's a really nice acoustic solo that's all slide and string buzz, a small touch of wild-west folk in the midst of an indie-pop gallop. Lusciously flowing, it is as danceable and groovesome as it is nice to chill to - but it doesn't overpower you. It's understated throughout, strangely innocent in its resignation to guilt - 'Honest' is a good word for it.

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