You walk across a grass field alongside many others, basket and blanket in hand. Today is the annual Interplanetary Picnic, where visitors from all over the galaxy gather to celebrate the long peace time. There will be music, and everyone will carouse until they eventually collapse under the stars. You find the perfect spot, and stretch out before laying your belongings on the grass. It’s a sunny day, a good day for good things. You hear the swell of a keyboard . . .
Just when I was certain my top album of year was secure, a new gem finds its way to my earholes. Constant Bop is the newest full-length by Bop English, a pseudonym donned by White Denim frontman and studio mastermind James Petralli. This record is jam-packed with what would be considered instrumental chaos in the hands of a less adept owner, but Petralli treats each sound as a cherished puzzle piece, deserving of its own space.
The extraordinary level of songwriting is reason enough for anyone to give this a spin, as it’s rare to find something this catchy and innovative at the same time. These are captivating songs dressed in a slew of genres, including southern rock, glam, psyche, and soul. The skilled members of White Denim contribute their refined talents on most of these tracks, and they succeed in bringing brilliance and life to each one.
It’s incredibly refreshing to hear something this inventive, something that so artfully combines elements of modernity and past influences. It also possesses a distinct aura of effortlessness, which makes it easy for anyone to enjoy. There truly isn’t one lull in quality throughout the duration of the record. I only wish it was a tad longer. If you’re seeking catchy, innovative songwriting, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)