Great New Single: Bahamas – “No Wrong”

After three studio albums the band Bahamas has created a unique sound unlike any other artist, which is as much as any relatively young band can hope to accomplish. It’s a spare, stop-start, slow-to-mid-tempo groove characterized by incredibly clean crisp guitar lines, sometimes subtly carrying the song’s structure, other times flashing restrained but still scorching solo licks.

The band’s driving force Afie Jurvanen isn’t just a great guitar player, he’s also a fine songwriter who can deliver some sweet, probing melodies, some inventive chord progressions, and some real solid lyrics. The band’s spare sound is often filled out with rich and complex backing vocals, which adds to the organic, natural warmth of what would otherwise be called a chill vibe. I’ve never heard anything quite like it.

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Bahamas announced this week that they will be releasing their fourth studio album, to be suitably called Earthtones, in January 2018. And from that album they’ve given us the first single called “No Wrong”, and it’s more or less the Bahamas formula in full force, and well, why not? Jurvanen needs to keep knocking on that door because there are a lot of music fans who will fall in love with this stuff once they hear it.

Just listen to the first 15 seconds of “No Wrong” and you’re hit by his salty sweet voice and some great little chord changes right off the top. A minute in and you’re captivated by the gorgeous melody and some gentle nifty noodling on the guitar. What’s new this time around is a fatter bass sound, which hints at more of a modern R&B feel. Previously Bahamas would occasionally play without a bass – just guitar, drums and voices – but I think the bigger bottom just adds more warmth to a sound that’s pretty toasty to begin with.

Any Rock fan who bristles at a modern R&B influence ought to remember that Rock has always been about adopting other styles and turning them into something new. Just as the Rockers of the Sixties took Classic R&B and ran with it, today’s Rockers can do the same with Modern R&B and that’s exactly what Bahamas has done here. Dig the vibe, man.

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