“I sometimes think that God, in creating the Pug, somewhat underestimated his ability” Oscar Wilde. Whether or not Oscar really said that, there’s no chance of under-estimating Steve Cobby’s new album Everliving. If you have any soul, any love of beauty and any regard for music that doesn’t want to be a ‘banger’ then you need this album. It’s gorgeous.
Everliving is Steve Cobby’s (ex-Fila Brazillia) follow up to the lovely Saudade from last year. It’s out today. If Saudade had echoes of Steve’s Fila Brazillia’s past this new album is more confidently his and sheds those ghosts. Confidence is the watchword of this album. The other word is layers. That confidence is reflected in the careful layering of sound to give Everliving a richness and depth that adds to pleasure each time you listen to it.
Big Wow starts with Kalimbas. And you can’t go wrong with a bit of Kalimba. It then develops into a gentle dub sound with cosmic disco flourishes. That’s a combination that seems as if it shouldn’t work but my goodness it does. Phatic Communication allows a lazy piano line to drift by with wood block accompaniment and just a little hip shaking funk.
The Sirens Help Me To Sleep is the perfect encapsulation of downtempo future funk, with a little jazz funk guitar. Laniakea is the galaxy supercluster that is home to the Milky Way, our galaxy, and therefore to the Solar System and the Earth. And you can’t get more cosmic than that. This is the sound of the stars and Rhodes noodling.
Teleseme is an album highlight. Allowed to develop ever so slowly, this is nearly nine minutes of ambient sunrise. You can’t hurry the motion of the stars and you can’t hurry this along. Ripples of sounds get offset with synth chords and some tin drum. This is ambient to match any 90s classic you care to mention.
Clams. Bivalve molluscs are strange things. First appearing more than 500 million years ago. Not a big fan, except scallops. The track is a squelchy thing, drifting slowly along and a bassy kind of way. Kinda theremin. The Sober Certainty of Waking Bliss with its jazzy funk sound is the nearest to a nod to the Fila Brazillia past that the album gets.
Mahalo, a Hawaiian word meaning thanks or gratitude, is another gentle highlight. Tribal drums are set to shuffle in the background whilst some wandering guitar gently weeps in the foreground. The pace gets upped slightly on Fresh Blue Agave which has a head-nodding, if not rump shaking, charm.
Everywhere & Everywhen makes more of a dance floor effort, with a squelchy funk and what sounds like stylophone. Arroyo has handclaps and guitar before bringing out the funk bass. May Flights Of Angels Sing Him To His Rest is a final album highlight. A half-heard dream. More cosmic space exploration. The album ends with Oneric and some more piano in a gentle coda to close to the album.
Go get the album which comes in either 3 x 12″ vinyl or CD digipack. It’s a wonderful experience you won’t regret and will want to play over and over.
Order the album on 3 x 12″ clear vinyl
or double CD digipack