28 Feb 2020
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SOJØURN - EP Review: Summer Tape

17 Dec 2019 // A review by Jamie Denton

Hailing from the beautiful, sun-drenched, surf-town of Mangawhai, seven-piece “psychedelic surf rock reggae band” Sojøurn have just released their latest Summer Tape EP. Consisting of two tracks Still a Mess and Take a Drive, the Summer Tape EP aims to capture the sounds, feeling, and overall vibe of an Aotearoa summer.

Opening with a clean melodic guitar riff reminiscent of Michael Franti’s Spearhead, subtly accompanied by a sample of a needle on a dusty old record, Still a Mess is a mid-to-slow-tempo slice of funky, reggae-rock. This vibe of casual, dreamy, mellow, blissed out, but still groovy is retained throughout, with the effortlessly cool vocals of both vocalist/guitarist Isaac Hunter and Annaree Peters adding to the overall vibe. Still a Mess evokes mental images of a lazy, recovery-day Sunday afternoon in the sun with good friends, helped in large part by the sparingly utilized keyboards (Elias Giles) and saxophone (Jacob O’Brien). It is great to hear these instruments, that so often dominate a track, work as new layers without overpowering the sound. As the track progresses, the band do incredibly well at adding enough dynamics and melodic change into the track to keep the listener interested without losing the overall feeling they are going for.

Track 2, Take a Drive, introduces some more jazz influences into the overall sound, but retains the overall reggae-rock sound. Taking a slightly more bass-heavy approach, courtesy of bassist Tony Baker, and drummer (Jim Bokma), Take a Drive is a faster, more energetic track that retains that signature NZ reggae-rock of Sojøurn. Anyone keeping score would have noticed that I haven’t mentioned Isaac on rhythm guitar; he locks in tight with the rest of the rhythm section throughout both of these tracks, laying a strong, powerful, elegant, and tasteful guitar that perfectly ‘stays in its lane’.

Overall, this is a great EP for those of you who dig reggae-rock. It is a fantastic example of the strong reggae/ska vibe that NZ is known for, and will keep you hitting repeat on the EP, or digging out some of their earlier singles.

They’re out on tour promoting this EP now. Definitely well worth checking out, especially to top off a great Kiwi summer’s day on the beach.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About SOJØURN

SOJØURN are an energetic 7-piece psychedelic surf rock reggae band hailing from Mangawhai. The band have been taking the NZ Music scene by storm performing over 30 shows across the North Island in the last 12 months with some of NZ's heavy hitters. The band play a mixture of upbeat reggae and funk blended with salty surf rock. Summer vibes sorted with this lot.

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