Spreading the Groovy Revolution
Let’s all take a moment to appreciate the type of delightful revival sounds of 2013. Disco, soul, and pop funk are fully back in fashion to accompany our fringey shirts and platform boots. While J.T., Robin Thicke and Daft Punk dominate the commercial corner, Har Mar Superstar’s Bye Bye 17 is hot off the presses – and ready to spread the groovy revolution down into the indie market.
Har Mar Superstar has always been an artist to watch: his gorgeous voice, offbeat looks, and radical performance style are always worth the price of admission. Yet as a solely aural experience, Bye Bye 17 is just as enjoyable as any live performance and, as per usual, the man defies definitions and expectations. While his records have always been fun, this might be the first glimpse of his true greatness.
Starting with the Sam Cooke-like “Lady, You Shot Me” and on through the doo-wop-ing “Late Night Morning Light,” it’s clear that Har Mar has abandoned his previous electropop stylings in favor of a bit o’ neo-soul. The arrangements are layered and bursting with yummy ’60s instrumentation – clarinet and horn sounds swirl together in a kind of psychedelic soup. Standout tracks include the hilarious “Don’t Make Me Hit You,” where Har Mar pleads to be released from S&M duties in the bedroom:“I’m beggin you, please / Love shouldn’t come with a leash.”
Altogether, this is a fabulous effort by a fabulously weird fellow. Yet another gem in the funky diadem of a spectacular year in music thus far.