Any music writer/lover worth his or her salt loves to dig for new tunes to listen to and fall in love with. We spend inordinate amounts of time on music blogs like this one, reading up on new bands or old artists we've never heard of before, and tearing through the shelves at record stores like animals (but careful animals who want to make sure not to bend the corners of a record sleeve and depreciate its value).
Personal recommendations are the best, however. It's been vetted by people whose opinions we trust and we can dive in without reservation. So as it happens, my first run in with Palmas was via the website of Ancient Heat, a local nonet that plays straight-up, non-ironic disco pop. I had recently fallen in love with their debut 12" single, and was scraping up some more information on the group. And somewhere in the mixâprobably via their Facebook pageâthey encouraged fans to check out these new tracks laid down by a gent who goes by the name of Palmas. Two mouse clicks later and I was in love.
The music is cooked up by one gent Joshua Fulfs, a fellow music junkie who has spent some years studying African and Latin music, including a stretch in Argentina absorbing the digital cumbia movement. Now that he's back on his home turf, he is pulling from these and other various influences to create this intoxicating brew.
Though it was hard to pick a favorite among the four tracks, this is the one that felt the strongest of the bunch. The rhythm is as sexy as they come, a shimmying groove that feels feather light. It never really touches ground. It just bounces and sways and teases. You're already in deep by the time Fulfs' vocals kick in. His is a hazy, processed melody that adds a little heft to the proceedings but never weighs it down.
Are these really demos? I want to find out and may just corner Fulfs soon and find out. If they are, I'm shocked at how complete these sound right now. Adding even more production gloss and tweaks to it could completely crack apart what is so solid about these tracks, or it could shoot them into the air to explode like a bottle rocket.