Noise For Pretend - "Happy You Near" Sampler Mix
Noise for Pretend is one of the most interesting lot to come around in a while. The focal point of the young trio is the brazen 17 year old Esperanza Spalding who plays a stand up bass that dwarfs her twiggy frame. In person she is a jive talking, too-cool-for-school (literally that is-- she took the fast track outta high school to earn her keep, go to college and take lessons from some of Portland's finest jazz musicians) sassy teenager. On stage her performance recalls the playfulness of Billie Holiday or the swagger of Astrud Gilberto. Christian Cochran completes the rhythm section with his technical, crisp style. Together they co-opt outmoded and unsuspecting time signatures and genres to create a dynamic rhythmic patchwork at the foundation of the band's song craft. Ben Workman completes the triad with his Swiss Army Knife ability to to infuse songs with a myriad of melody lines and parts. As a trio they flex their musicianship, hopscotching through a bric-a-brac of genres without batting an eyelash: Pop Noir, Disco, Jazz, Torch, Spaghetti Western, Bossa Nova, and Downtempo.
Building on the promise of their introductory split EP with Blanket Music, Happy You Near finds the young band at play, trying on musical ideas like masks at a costume party, creating music for the sheer joy of it. It also unveils the complementary vocal talent of Workman on three tracks. It is a refreshing and playful album that remains entirely sophisticated and unpredictable. Years from now people might just look back on this unassuming release and see it as a milepost in pop music. Yes, it is that good.
This CD features a full color 12 page booklet.
The Song Formerly Known as What We Used To Call It 4:14
Due to Lamplooking 3:23
Go Figure, Another Warm Day in Paradise 4:26
Melatonin Head 5:00
Money Penny 3:12
Most Red Wagons Aren't Very Long 2:51
Seven Dead Kids (For Eric) 4:20
Pants With His Halfway Down 3:56
Evil Petting Zoo 2:18