In a society where music streaming and (heavens forbid) music piracy reign supreme, it is terrifying to watch to what extremes musicians now need to go to sell their albums and make an income. With an absolute bombardment of music in every corner of our busy lives, it may be difficult to imagine how hard musicians and their publicity team work. Yet, it now takes a huge publicity stunt to get sales rolling for even the musical legends of our era. Long gone are the days of poster advertisements and a good review on Countdown. Artists are resorting to unusual and ridiculous measures to sell their musical products to you.
Before I begin, I must disclose that Snarky Puppy are my all time favourite musical ensemble, and I can guarantee bias on so many levels.
That being said, quite honestly, if you love Led Zeppelin, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Adele, Martin Garrix, Beyoncé, literally anyone, you must check out Snarky Puppy. I promise there will be an absolute bare minimum of one song on each of their albums that you will fall in love with, for some reason or another. Whether it be the funky grooves, the juicy keyboard lines, the diverse cultural embracement or even the vocalists from the Family Dinner album series, there is something inextricably likeable about Snarky Puppy.
Snarky Puppy, who refer to themselves collectively as “The Fam”, are a multi-instrumentalist, jazz fusion group from the US, that started off as a humble gospel church residency and now tour internationally to sold out crowds. Led by bassist Michael League, their cross-cultural compositions and entertaining performance value has attracted fantastic acclaim, and their collaborative albums have secured the ensemble two Grammys.
Snarky Puppy has already supplied one ripper album this year, Family Dinner Vol. 2, a sequel to their Grammy winning album from 2013. Despite a busy tour schedule and plenty of side projects, the band delivered their 11th album Culcha Vulcha in late April, which sees the band return to pure studio album recording for the first time in eight years.
The band teased its eager fans with the only single of the album, “Tarova”, and whilst short, the track demonstrates a more formalised but extremely exciting tune. Compact and groove driven, the track showcases the impeccable virtuosic organ playing of Cory Henry, as well as Michael League’s fantastic writing. Although it may be Snarky Puppy’s shortest ever track, it is perhaps one of their most accessible to new listeners. Feel free to check out this peculiar review of the single below.
Jared loves to share his passion for music and artists through music reviews and commentaries. These include a selection of reviews written for community radio stations 3MBS and Radio Monash.