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Gadadu Meld Futuristic Sights and Vintage Soul Sounds on "Life" (premiere)

Photo: James Graves

"Life" from Gadadu's upcoming Outer Song LP is an eclectic, ambitious, and complex yet soothing orchestral pop journey.

Falling somewhere in the tradition of bands like Bent Knee, Little Tybee, and the Family Crest, New York dream pop/soul troupe Gadadu has been serving up orchestrated rhythmic shifts and soft-spoken harmonies since 2013. Initially, a partnership between vocalist/violist Hannah Selin and vocalist/pianist Nicki Adams, the group has since expanded to a quintet thanks to trumpeter Patrick Adams (Earth Tone), bassist Daniel Stein (Possibilities Trio), and percussionist Arthur Vint (Postmodern Jukebox).

Having already impressed with their amalgamation of "pop melodies with extended song-forms and impressionistic textures" on 2015's debut, And I See Night, Gadadu is gearing up to set the bar even higher on the upcoming follow-up, Outer Song. A "kaleidoscopic dream world mixing elements of indie/dream pop with jazz arrangements, warm harmonies, and some swinging jams", it's truly an eclectic, ambitious, and complex yet soothing journey. Without a doubt, one of its strongest moments is "Life", a dazzling and dynamic venture whose recently released video does an excellent job of capturing the transcendental ether of its music.

Built around Selin's warm and retro serenades, the composition is as practiced as it is playful, with sporadic tempo and textural changes keeping you on edge during its transformations. The band justly describes it as "careen[ing]... between two groves", with an array of trumpet accentuations, high-pitched piano trickles, funky futuristic climaxes, and more making it quite inventive and intriguing. Fittingly, the accompanying video (directed by Pasakorn Nontananandh) suits it well by using "abstract fireflies and metallic forest floors to reimagine the borders between city and nature". Together, they create a truly hypnotic experience that's both vintage and prophetic.

Take a peek at "Life" below and see if it doesn't enthrall you as well. You can also pre-order Outer SongOuter Song, which comes out on 26 October via Birdwatcher Records. Lastly, you can RSVP to see Gadadu this Friday, September 21st, at the Bitter End in New York City.

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