A little too much cheese
French electronic music band Caravan Palace holds a top spot in the electro-swing genre and attempts to push the genre in a modern direction with their new project Chronologic. Caravan Palace has a diverse and energetic style, stitching R&B, electro swing and modern EDM production together. The woozy jazz band samples are intertwined with bombastic EDM tropes, as vocalist Zoé Colotis gives the music a necessary personality and cohesion. Yet Chronologic is somewhat unfocused and an acquired taste.
“Miracle,” the funky bargain bin Bruno Mars production, is at least fun and doesn’t take itself seriously. The vocals are silly and playful, fitting the music. Many of these tracks are injected with the standard electro-swing loops, transitioning to some pop EDM breakdown, and covered with a thick shmear of R&B vocals. “Moonshine” is the tropical house flavored electro swing, while “Plume” is the dancehall flavored electro swing.
Caravan Palace tries to bring their core sound into new ears, yet flavoring their style with yesterday’s trends isn’t quite that appealing. Yet when they stick to their guns, the band can deliver some great music. “April” is a highlight, this track incorporates electro-swing tastefully. Dramatic, dynamic and constantly evolving, the delicate transitions and complex production showcase Caravan Palace’s great potential.
Electro Swing isn’t for everyone, there is schlock, there are overused tropes and putting the same loop of an old big band is pretty obnoxious. Mixing tropical house and electro swing is like mixing guacamole and ice cream and even though it doesn’t sound bad per say, its just kind of weird and bland. Even so, Caravan Palaces does deserve some credit. They know how to craft fun songs filled with diverse influences and amazing positive energy, and there isn’t nearly enough of that in the world today.