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ALBUM REVIEW - LOTUS, FREE SWIM

Written by  Jo Higginbotham

Lotus is back with another banger in their 10th studio release, Free Swim!  This album blends styles of electronica with jazz and funk, making for a fun ride through this band’s compositional flow.  Free Swim is unconventional, yet feels familiar at every turn; the music takes routes one may not expect, but remains easily digestible for any listener.  Of course, for the fan of strange instrumentals, and experimental avenues, Free Swim is a must-listen.

The first track, "Catacombs", jumps in with a tribal dance vibe, and immediately showcases the smooth groove work by bassist, Jesse Miller, which is prevalent throughout the album. "Turtlehead" floats dancing guitars for easy listening, while the title track, "Free Swim", picks up the pace for a brighter tune.  The first standout gem of this album is "Sepia Rainbow", with its tight surfer rock guitar, wailing church organ, and saucy groove. Then, "One-Eyed Jones", creates a dreamy, brassy landscape with more floating melodies.

"Bjorn Gets a Haircut" has a unique mix and quality of instrument and sample choices, and definitely makes for one of the most fun tracks on the album. "Straight Blade" has a great rush rhythm, while "Earl of Grey" provides a smooth, mid-tempo jam. "Snake Island" feels like a party, with bright, fast distorted guitars and a dance rhythm.  Finally, "Land of the Lush" closes out the album with a gorgeous ballad, building to a large, cathartic finish.

Mike Greenfield’s drums and Chuck Morris’s percussion has consistent life in the rhythm, and communicates well with Jesse Miller’s bass and synth work. Luke Miller’s keys fill out each song in various ways, and in many cases provide an interesting syncopated feel; and his guitar work, along with Mike Rempel, are the perfect leads for most of these songs. And the composition for each song, as well as the arrangement for instruments is incredible. Altogether, with beautiful mixing from the production team, Lotus has created an eclectic track-list, which is impossible not to bump your head to, and simply never gets boring.

After a few spins around the block, I can honestly tell you that Free Swim is an incredible production from top to bottom and one you won't want to sleep on.  For those who enjoy experimental and creative music, Lotus has taken this one to a whole new level and does not fail to impress at every corner.  Free Swim is definitely one of the most pleasantly unique albums of the year and one you definitely need to add to your personal collection.  It's available on all streaming platforms and even on vinyl, so grab a copy today and let me know what you think after the needle drops!

 

As always, be well and rock on!     Hunnypot Approved!     Overall Rating:  8.7 out of 10

Artist:  Lotus  LPFree Swim  Release Date: August 21st, 2020,   Label:  Lotus Vibes Music

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