Fact Friday: Tunes for Tasting

Good things come in time. In 2009 Radiohead’s lead singer Thom Yorke collaborated with friends Nigel Godrich, longtime Radiohead producer, on keyboards, Joey Waronker on drums, Brazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco, and Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers on bass to perform Yorke’s solo album, The Eraser, at several live shows. It’s been four years since we’ve heard anything from this supergroup but their new album Amok was well worth the wait.

Bottled in January 2011, Donkey & Goat’s Syrah Broken Leg Vineyard Recluse had us waiting 8 months before her release. Both bold and beautiful, we no longer have to wait on the album that happens to be the perfect soundtrack to your night indulging in a bottle of Recluse.

With the very first sip, you may feel a zip of intensity as with the first notes of the album’s peppiest song “Before Your Very Eyes…”. Flea’s driving bass line on this skittering afro-beat themed opener begins an album with authoritative form. Recluse will also take you by the cuffs, and both album and wine takes some adjusting to from your otherwise monotonous day. To recognize skill of a craft there is generally some acquired taste that comes along with it. The longer you let it seep on your palate the tastier it becomes. The confusing complexities of the two mediums open up as the album dwindles on and the wine dwindles down. There is a passion to both that becomes more soothing with each song and sip, and lets you unravel the layers and folds as time goes on.

The lusty tones of Recluse are complemented by the sweet swoons in “Judge, Jury And Executioner.” By the time you reach this seventh track, your bottle of Recluse begins to unleash her slowly revealed charms. This temptress will have you hooked just as by the time you reach “Judge, Jury And Executioner” you’ve probably begun to sway along with the album’s funky improvisations and comfortable grooves.

The richness of the wine sets you into the semi-trance of Thom’s instrumental drones. Yet, there is something refreshing and rejuvenating within this warm album, especially when compared with Yorke’s typical melancholy ways. The incredibly organic jam session takes you on emotional highs that revive you like the minty tones in the darkly-effervescent Recluse.

The instrumentation has something energetic and abandoned about it just as this wild wine is something you can let loose too. Yorke’s voice weaves merrily around the beat with his signature hypnotic style, both joyful and dragged out consistently throughout the album. Combined with these four other immensely talented musicians, the sounds are textured, full, and definitely something you can dance to. And I don’t know about you, but after a glass or two of good wine, I’m always in the mood for dancing.

(Amok is streaming here
Recluse is flowing here)