8/10 CHET BAKERS
I first heard about this rock project from producer Tristate late last year. I didn't have much info on it, but I was intrigued. I first came across Tristate about six months ago or so when he was running a Kickstarter program for his "Tristate of Mind" project. (More on that in the weeks to come, as I will be reviewing that as well).
I've always liked artists that don't focus on a single type of music or genre. Who incorporate other forms of music into their work in a creative fashion. Tristate fits that very well. So when he mentioned he had this rock project called "Live from Paris!" I was intrigued to see what he could do. Together with singer Kimi Lundie, they form "Live in Paris!" and it's an impressive debut.
MORE AFTER THE JUMP
The eight song EP has a nice vibe to it. While this is the first project I've heard from Tristate (aside from the snippets of his upcoming Tristate of Mind), I had never had the fortune to hear Lundie before. And they really have created a nice slice of music here. I wasn't sure what to expect when I saw the video snippet for "Laugh at the Little Things".
I think there are some things that when you hear it, rather than see it, you can get a better feel for it. You're more able to focus on the music rather than the visuals. And then there are other things where I get a much better grasp on something after seeing a music video for it and then suddenly, for whatever reason, I can kind of "Get" it better.
Watching the video for "Laugh at the Little Things" I was kind of off-balance, if that makes sense. The beginning of it sounds a bit....off. I don't know how to really put it, but as it goes on and they really get going, it is really good. I'm not sure why I had that reaction, but as I said in the very beginning I was just not sure how I felt about it, but by the end I had totally embraced it. Some music does that to you.
As I listened to the EP, "Letters to Exes" I kept having that familiar feeling that you get sometimes when you hear something and it hearkens to something else. Not necessarily that it sounds like something, but more to a particular vibe or feel. And when it got to the song "Jimi Does Me Good" it suddenly clicked for me.
This whole project feels very Hendrixian, and I realize that's not really a word. But more than just being reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix, it reminded me of that era's music. Specifically a film I saw by Bernardo Bertolucci called "The Dreamers".
The Dreamers, was an English language French film starring Michael Pitt (Murder by Numbers, Boardwalk Empire) & Eva Green (Kingdom of Heaven, Casino Royale). In the film Pitt is an American college student in Paris, who meets up with Eva and her brother during the backdrop of the 1968 Paris student riots.
The movie takes place over the course of a few weeks, as Pitt gets to know Eva and her brother who are unconventionally close. It's a very intriguing film which was controversial here in the States due to the sexual content and nudity which garnered it an NC-17.
But the vibe of that movie, the kind of feeling that I got from listening to the protest era music and seeing the imagery is similar to what I felt with this project. I had that same kind of reaction, I think. And a perfect encapsulation of this is the brilliant trailer for it which features some of that music.
I really liked Tristate's guitar playing in this as it really sets the vibe, for lack of a better word. Playing all the instruments in this along with producing, Tristate put in a lot of work here, and it shows. Kimi perfectly complements Tristate's instruments with her rock star swagger which comes out in her vocals. She has that perfect image of the rocker and she really comes through on this project. Will be interesting to hear more from her in the future.
Some other standout tracks on here include the opening track "Letter I feat. Brigitte Bardot", "Man Down", and the out of left field, but very cool cover of Seal's "Kiss From A Rose".
This EP at times, is not an ode to that great love that we've all hopefully experienced. This is more an ode to love dismissed. A love that broke our hearts and now we've determined to not let it get to us, and are instead fighting back, as is most evident on the closing track "Love Stinks", and the cover art as well.
This is, in some parts and in some ways the anti-love album. The anti-James Blunt, so to speak. It speaks from pain and heartbreak and an attitude of "I will not let you beat me". A fierce independent woman throwing down the gauntlet and saying that she is tougher than the one who hurt her. That her heart is broken but never the spirit.
"Letters to Exes" is now available for free download via Live From Paris' Bandcamp page. I encourage you to check it out.
CHECK OUT TRISTATE'S WEBSITE BY CLICKING HERE
CHECK OUT KIMI LUNDIE'S WEBSITE BY CLICKING HERE
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