If not for the diligent and courageous work of the Kansas City Police Department our next release Luscious Skin’s debut album Ventriloquist might never have seen the light of day. After months of writing and recording the exquisite left field pop tracks on the album a laptop containing the sole copies of the tracks was burgled from vocalist/songwriter Rhys Ziemba’s apartment. At this point Rhys and the other member of the duo, Kyle Combs, were faced with the option of re-recording the entire album or scrapping it and starting with new tunes. After a few months stuck in this quandary the aforementioned K City Police Dept. amazingly found the laptop at a local pawn shop and even more amazingly, all of the tracks and files remained! We are lucky that they did because the sounds and songs on these recordings are totally irreplaceable. The title track “Ventriloquist” sums up all of what is fresh and appealing here with it’s opening infectious acoustic guitar lick, it’s 8 bit pulse and most importantly it’s powerful and playful lead vocals, this is the sound of guys who’s day job is art handling and who’s influences of Afrobeat, Tropicalia, Balearic Beat and World Folk Musics are transmuted into something clearly Del Norte but retaining much Soul. Unlike many other “Western” albums that have borrowed sounds from other cultures (ie Graceland) Luscious Skin’s influences lie buried deep within the sound in a subtle way. The result is something they can truly call their own and perhaps deserves a new Genre (maybe Plainsbeat?). Whatever you call it we say it could be the ultimate soundtrack to your Spring and Summer.
Ventriloquist will be out May 14th on c35 cassette and digital formats. Look for a free sample and more details soon.