For me, most good things musically are rooted in the 1970s. The emergence, growth, and techicolor explosion of funk — my touchstone music genre. The laidback vibe of West Coast folk. The early, early days of hip-hop. So many iconic bands. Earth, Wind, & Fire; Parliament; Funkadelic; Fleetwood Mac; Led Zeppelin; James Taylor; Santana; etc. etc. etc.
And, so, Airpark’s new single Devotion had me at hello. From the first sound (a snare drum hit), into the easy-going acoustic guitar melody, and then driven throughout by tight, groovy drums and singer Ben Ford’s slightly breathy, wonderfully casual vocals. It is well-crafted and executed to perfection. Good lord, there is even a subtly repeating electric piano/organ riff in the background of the chorus that channels The Doors. It is an embarrassment of 70s’ era riches with modern comparisons to Dawes, even as Airpark carves out their own distinct sound.
Airpark is a self-described alt pop/rock duo comprised of brothers Ben and Michael Ford, Jr. Earlier recordings stick closer to the rock category, so this latest track (along with 2017 recordings Trouble Sells and Blue Eyed Spainard) marks a confident, emergent sound anchored in softer guitars, soulful vocals, and groovy rhythm tracks.
There is no escaping Devotion. The melody line plays at the corners of your consciousness throughout the day, orbiting around Ben’s arcing line in the chorus “Oooooo, summon my devotion.” You sink into it like a comfy chair or drift away on it’s steady, strummed cadence or lose yourself in the airy atmospherics that build in the latter half of the song. The lyrics play their part as well, speaking to a steadily growing and quietly desperate obsession — an unnamed lust embedding itself in dreams and memories.
It’s just a delicious listen. Look for more from Airpark as Devotion is an early single off their upcoming EP Songs of Airpark, set to be released in early 2019.