Scroll Down to listen to “1612,” by Vulfpeck (Opens in Spotify)
This band grooves so damn hard it’s a felony offense. They are so firmly in the pocket they might as well be lint.
The bass tone in the intro tells you everything you’re going to need to know about where this song is going—if you don’t like in the first five seconds, just shut it off. They combine the best of two different sub-genres: the earthy baby-making music of James Brown and his bands, mixed with some slight intergalactic weirdness straight from the P-Funk mothership.
Guest vocalist Antwaun Stanley turns in such a joyous, texturally-rich performance that you swiftly forget he’s singing about, like, the unlock code to his apartment/heart or something. In no other genre do the actual words you’re singing count for less. In fact, these are just shy of ridiculous, but that only adds to the tone here, particularly the way Stanley deadpans “Frank Sinatra.”
It might be a surprise to learn that the rest of this band is so white that you would lose them in a snowstorm, and so unbearably hipster that they probably only consume non-GMO chia-soy lattés. All of this is incidental, because they attack the music with a great attitude and serious musicianship that never feels overly derivative. James Brown is assuredly in Funk Heaven, and he is looking down from his groovitudinal cloud at Vulfpeck and smiling. Now go check out their new album, Thrill of the Arts.