Album of the Week: Sugoi — Slips and the F.W’S / græ — Moses Sumney
Eastside’s Album of the Week show this week features ragtime joy in the form of Queensland jazz group Slips and the F.W’s, and the epic two part release from neo-soul afficionado Moses Sumney out of the US.
Sugoi is the debut album from jazz-blues-ragtime group Slips and the F.W’s. The group have been performing their eclectic New Orleans 1920s style jazz up and down the East coast of Australia, and have just now released this impressively cohesive debut. The group is made up of long-time performers featuring regulars at Dracula’s Cabaret such as David Kume (resonator Guitar/vocals), Rudi Testa (bass guitar/vocals), Lachlan Neate (saxophone/vocals), Stevie Mac (keys) and Brad Tabe (washboard). The group moseys through blues on “So Down”, to upbeat horns on “Hot Hot Hot” and classic ragtime cheek on “Weiner Wagon”. The release is nothing but fun, and is a spectacular time capsule of a jazz genre that is becoming increasingly hard to find.
Moses Sumney released the first single for græ back in December of last year, and the world could not have shifted more in the time it took to release the epic two-part double album. The first part of græ was released in February and the second in May, the time between the releases punctuating just how different each part is in concept. Part one is experimental, featuring spoken work poetry on “jack/jill” that investigates the line between masculinity and femininity, to more typical soul mastery on the single “Cut Me”. Part two however speaks more to peace. Heartbreak, gratitude and holding your tongue are the themes for part two which maintains its melodic consistency right through to the very end. Ironically the theme of the double feature is isolation, from an artist that has categorically refused to be placed in a genre or musical label. It is an album to immerse yourself in, from beginning to end, and allow yourself to feel what you’ve otherwise been ignoring.