Released just under a year after their debut album Deer Lion, Bay Area neo-soul collective Speakeasē return with “Nourish Me.” Both a new single and a live video, this performance was filmed in front of a green screen, in what feels like a nod to late ’60s/early ’70s funk/soul (think this exceptional rendition of “Move On Up” by Curtis Mayfield).
Front and center are the performers, and two things become immediately apparent: A) there are a lot of them and B) they are extremely talented. Take a listen:
Lead vocalist Adrienne Gobert, alongside Natalie John (who also plays trumpet) establish a warm, breezy feel early in the song — with a fully realized melodic backbone courtesy of guitarist Ryan Schaeffer and keyboardist Javier Santiago. But towards the middle, the tide shifts — bassist Daniel Erik and drummer Brandon Farmer toss in an off-balance J. Dilla shuffle near the 1:59 mark. Slowly, they work their way back to a stable groove as the song explodes into a vibrant saxophone solo, courtesy of Eli Maliwan.
It’s clear that these musicians know what they’re doing and are a treat to see/experience/dance to live. And luckily, you get a chance to do just that on Thursday, October 24 at Cornerstone in Berkeley.