Thundercat – It Is What it Is
Thundercat, otherwise known as Stephen Bruner, is the funky, futurist artist whose mesmerising game-play as an iconic bassist of our time fuses jazzy beats with trippy electronica reminiscent of summer days and chilled-out vibes. His second solo album, It Is What it Is, released on 3rd April, feels like a spacey anime, as if the set moves through time while celebrating collaborations with renowned artists of old and exciting new funky soul musicians.
The album begins with Lost In Space / Great Scott / 22-26, which sets the scene for a journey into playfulness and losing oneself in electronic dreams of jazz on a lazy afternoon. Swiftly gliding onto the next song, Interstellar Love, the album promises to carry listeners on a cloud of happiness and shining bright colours. This sentiment is manifest in Miguel’s Happy Dance and Funny Thing, which take listeners to a pool party somewhere hot where everyone enjoys a drink, good company, laughter, and music you can taste with your skin while your hips gently sway to the beat.
Listening to the album, especially the songs How Sway and How I Feel, is an experience that resonates with being completely immersed in a Sci-Fi anime film or a video game where reality itself becomes questionable. Listeners are transported to a dreamy world of fantasy interspersed with sweet reveries of beautiful music from the past.
I Love Louis Cole, which features Louis Cole, and Black Qualls, which features Steve Lacy, Steve Arrington and Childish Gambino, recall the 70s pop rhythms of the likes of Marvin Gaye and Prince, while the dreamy, nostalgic King of The Hill – the first song on the album to be released at the end of 2018 – brings to mind Echoes by Pink Floyd.
The most acclaimed song by far, however, is Dragonball Durag, which is accompanied by a funny and playful music video directed by Zack Fox, featuring comedian Quinta as well as singer-songwriters Kali Uchis and the Haim sisters. In keeping with the spirit of the album, this song is funky, with trippy jazz beats.
The acoustic sound of Existential Dread stands apart from the rest of the album in its somewhat sombre tone, but it does not distort the smooth and dreamy flow of the record as a whole. Ending with the fast-paced Afro-Columbian Cumbia drumbeats in It Is What it Is, Thundercat’s latest offering demands to be replayed.
It Is What it Is is released on 3rd April 2020. For further information or to order the album visit Brainfeeder Records’ website here.
Watch the video for Dragonball Durag here: