“Keep Cooler EP”
Sounds like: No other Brazilian music in your library
Think of Brazilian music. If you’re like me, you hear samba, Seu Jorge or CSS. Nancy is most definitely none of the above.
The band’s “Keep Cooler EP” will be released digitally in the U.S. on March 10, creating a new stateside voice for the Brazilian music scene. Nancy’s music has the sultry sensibility of a smoking gun.
The title track catches the listener with urgent immediacy and the musical equivalent of a sexy saunter. Camila Zamith’s vocals irresistibly lure her audience in, and the swinging melody ensnares it permanently. As the song closes, the tempo slows like the welcome end of a marathon, leaving hearts pumping hard.
The following track, “Letter,” starts out exuberantly - if somewhat painfully amelodically - but morphs throughout, holding onto interest. The adventurous exploration of highs and lows is what makes it all work, even if it seems a little formulaic considering the band’s approach to “Keep Cooler.”
Unfortunately, the rest of the EP never quite emotes the same energy that seems ubiquitous in the album’s first two tracks. Even the remix of “Keep Cooler” that’s included seems a step backward from the original, playing up everything but the song’s greatest strengths.
“Keep Cooler” showcases definite potential, and if Nancy can put on a show as energetic as the album’s first two tracks, it’ll only move northwards.
Sounds like: Taking a world tour in one room
Searching and transience are not new themes. Neither is love at a distance. Somehow, though, Telekinesis, the stage name for Michael Benjamin Lerner, approaches these topics with an upbeat “just try and hold me back” attitude that makes them seem fresh - almost.
At the very least, the album is not an anthology of “my life as a musician is so hard, traveling across the country all the time isn’t the joyride it seems to be” woefulness. Instead, Lerner’s lyrics are sincere and relatable, if sometimes a little trite, and his melodies are catchy and listenable.
The mellow “Rust” opens the album with an intimate ballad unequalled throughout, followed by “Coast of Carolina,” which masquerades as a second lo-fi ballad until it explodes into the kind of optimistic, quick-tempoed track that characterizes much of the rest of “Telekinesis!”
Cute is about the only word to describe the be-bop-inspired “Awkward Kisser,” which, despite its peccadilloes, is more charming than not. Still, the second half of Lerner’s album tends to blend into one another a little, with sameness of sentiment melting into sameness of style.
Even so, “Telekinesis!” is the kind of album that could find you missing home, or whatever your emotional equivalent of that is. An album so dedicated to finding hope despite distance can’t help but leave you to do a little soul-searching of your own.