The funk genre came to prominence in the 1970s, before falling in popularity in the decades after. However, there are still lots of bands and artists creating music within this style, often branching out into other genres. I haven’t delved too deeply into funk before, so I felt it was the perfect time to reconnect with the genre. All the acts here have elements of funk within their music, creating something utterly groovy!
Review by Jane Howkins
Photo by Robert Silvester
Robert Silvester – Secret Obsession
First up is Robert Silvester – whilst his track, Secret Obsession also contains elements of dream-pop and jazz, I still felt it had moments of funk – particularly with the awesome brass instrumentation that pervades the music. It’s extremely atmospheric, containing some gorgeous piano chords and guitar notes in the background against the drums and bass. However, the vocals really add something special here, whispering the title of the track over and over again, as the brass instruments perform a selection of sustained notes, adding a really cool vibe. It’s funky, but it’s different from what you might expect from this genre, making for a must listen.
Nick Marks – Paradiso
New York-based composer, pianist and producer Nick Marks has created something really groovy with Paradiso. It’s got something of an 80s vibe, due to the stylistic keyboard effects and synths used. A jazzy piano line trickles through the music, changing every so slightly as it progresses. The horns are the real stand out point though, acting almost like a vocal line in the forefront of the tune. The track simply breathes cool, sounding absolutely effortless throughout. The pace changes every so often, turning into a much faster track, keeping the listener constantly on their toes.
Space Owl – Mountain Song
Space Owl is a musical project featuring Ari Joshua, an artist we’ve actually featured here before! Mountain Song has quite a slow tempo at first, before the bluesy guitar licks and steady beat kick in. One of the things I really loved about this track is how prominent the bassline is, pulsating along in the background against the jazzy guitar chords and ever-changing drum beat. The song goes through several different movements, changing rapidly to create more variety. It’s another instrumental track, but it doesn’t need any vocals, as it really works wonders as it is!
Wednesday’s Child – Terpsichore
Wednesday’s Child is a London-based five piece, creating something utterly fantastic in Terpsichore. The vocals have a really distinctive sound here – they’re very good, but they take on quite an eccentric quality at times. The track has a fast beat, as the clean guitar lines and bass follow it perfectly. It’s quite fast, building up over the course of the song, really drawing you into Wednesday’s Child’s world. The music breaks down in the middle before building back up again, creating an amazing crescendo of sounds. Terpsichore is one for those into your more experimental stuff!
The Heidi Incident – Under The Lights
Reno act The Heidi Incident have released a fantastic new pop song, also containing elements of funk. Under The Lights has got a hint of mainstream pop to it, unleashing some awesome synths into the mix, bubbling away underneath the surface. The vocals are smooth and soulful, drifting through the music with ease, showing a lot of passion and emotion. The synths have a bit of an 80s quality, creating a really optimistic sound, getting under your skin in no time. The chorus is particularly infectious, repeating the title of the track in a catchy way.
Olly Love – Pitstop Baby
Olly Love describes himself as an English eccentric piano man – Pitstop Baby certainly serves this description well! It’s incredibly upbeat, reminding me greatly of the sort of classic rock that became popular in the 60s and 70s. The piano works really well against the positive drum beat, as Olly sings an irresistibly catchy melody over the top. He repeats the title of the track over and over again on the chorus, creating an anthemic feel that will have you singing along in no time. It’s great to hear something so optimistic – particularly when it’s this infectious!
KT – Fickle Friend
Singer-songwriter KT mixes together elements of pop, soul and funk, making for one awesome package altogether! Fickle Friend starts out slowly, displaying KT’s amazing vocals well. The rest of the music soon kicks in, using an awesome bassline and positive drum beat to create a cool vibe. The horns and piano are extremely groovy, adding a great backbone to this tune. The track breaks down every so often, creating a lot of variety within the tune. The real focal point is KT’s stunning vocals, sounding incredibly soulful as she croons along to the music in a wonderful way.
Zachary Crawford – Alibi
Irish musician Zachary Crawford creates a cool retro vibe within his music, as latest release Alibi shows. The guitars have a lovely ska-style sound, weaving in and out of the rest of the music in a lovely manner. Zachary has a gorgeous voice, full of soul and heartfelt emotion, suiting the style of music extremely well. The piano sounds a little vintage at times, harking back to the musical heyday of the 80s. Overall, Alibi has a really nice ambience, making something positive and relaxing, just right for listening to on a warm summer’s day.
Corban Chapple – Ordinary World
Last but certainly not least is Corban Chapple, with one of the funkiest tracks on this entire list! Ordinary World is absolutely amazing to behold, also containing moments of soul, r&b and pop. It opens straight away with some awesome sounding horns, simply oozing cool. The vocals switch between a form of old school rapping and singing, showing an artist capable of many skills! The backing vocals are like a brilliant gospel choir in the background, adding extra layers to this catchy number. The music is lovely, but the vocals are the main attraction, going through a massive range on Ordinary World.