I haven’t found much new music that I really enjoy in a while. I can’t say I have actively been searching for it either. That said, in the past few weeks, I have come across two groups that have been making me really happy in the otherwise dull and slow moving month of August. Earlier this week, my wife played me a clip on Youtube of an amazing vocalist named Rachael Price. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but it was later in the evening and I was pretty focused on a television show; though I did recognize the talent. Her voice sounded a bit reminiscent of Amy Whinehouse, Fiona Apple, and Diana Krall. It was easy to tell she is naturally a great singer, but must have had some strong jazz training. I looked into her music the next day and realized she is the lead singer for an amazing band out of Boston called Lake Street Dive. They are a pop band, with hints of blues, jazz, and gospel. I give credit to my wife and finding this one. I called my local record store to see if they had their newly released album on vinyl. Sure enough, they had a few copies left. It is called Bad Self Portraits.
It has been three days straight now, and I cannot stop listening to this band. The sultry and playful sound of Price’s vocals has me hooked from start to finish on this vinyl. The four piece is comprised of drums, guitar, upright bass, and vocals, with the addition of trumpet frequently on this records titled, Bad Self Portraits. On any given song, you can call out hints of music giants from yesterday, like The Cure, Carol King, The Supremes, Norah Jones, and The Beatles to name a few, but Lake Street Dive is uniquely original and a breath of fresh air. The great part about the band is when you can just visualize them at band practice, and on the road, they are having fun. For anyone who has never played in a band, that statement sounds a little dumb, but most working musicians know that fun isn’t always fun and is very tiring and stressful. I can’t imagine Lake Street Dive feeling that way, and that makes me happy. As this record has been seeing its fair share of rotation in the short few days I’ve owned it, wine has been opened and opened again. Lake Street Dive is so fresh and a relief to my ears among the many of acts in this musical era of over-produced pop singers and electronic dance music. It deserves to be paired with a wine that that mirrors its creativity, freshness, and sultry attitude. That, for me, immediately rules out most offerings from the old world regions Europe. I thought about popping an Australian wine, and there are a lot of choices from the Southern Hemisphere, but I went with a new world Pinot Noir. I happened to get a bottle of an Oregon Pinot Noir produced by the fairly young winery, Mouton Noir.
Mouton Noir was created in 2007 by Sommelier, Andre Mack as a fantastic Oregon wine label and lifestyle operation, which is pretty self-evident if you visit their website. I opened a bottle of the Mouton Noir Oregogne, from the Willamette Valley. I loved the liveliness of this wine and its freshness. The name “Oregogne” gives a shout out to the best region in the world for Pinot Noir, Burgundy. What I loved about this wine is the subtle kicks of blueberries, and ripe cherries on the attack, great acidity, and a long lasting, but not too heavy finish. The aromas are sweet and very floral. If I had a green thumb I would tell you just what flowers I was picking up, but I am not good with flower names; hydrangeas? Chrysanthemums? The Oregogne is so much like the Bad Self Portraits record it is uncanny. Lake Street Dive and Mouton Noir should do some sort of project together, or at least play a show in Oregon at the winery. As many new world pinot noirs are, it goes down with a little bit of playful mystery and a lot of love.
Both Lake Street Dive and Mouton Noir have risen to the top of my music and wine playlist. Do yourself a favor and go get Bad Self Portraits and a bottle of Mouton Noir. You can thank me later.
Oh, and for the other group I mentioned in the introduction; that is coming next week.