I blathered about beautiful packaging in my last post, so I'll begin in like fashion with Matt Duncan's Soft Times, an album whose physical execution on vinyl rests at the confluence of some truly inspired design work. Wrapped in original artwork by Robert Beatty, the vinyl itself will be so spectacular I can only communicate a hint from Duncan's label, Soul Step Records...
"We here at Soul Step Records want to create records never seen before, records to show off to your friends, records to cherish and inspire others. If successful with our new type of vinyl - we will have raised the vinyl record game on everybody. Be on the lookout for 'Fortune Teller Vinyl'."
Take it from me, that's no idle boasting with regard to "Fortune Teller Vinyl". It will be magnificent.
Duncan introduced himself in 2010 with his Beacon EP, laying low for nearly three years and giving us only one single in 2011 to make the time pass more quickly toward the release of Soft Times, officially landing January 15, 2013. The album expands well on the body of free-wheeling soul-pop that Beacon established, this time buttressed by what sounds to have been a more extensive studio environment and better production options. With few songs dropping the slack on Soft Times, its first single "Lone Ranger" could have been anything and done the album justice. Funky guitars and manage to elevate the song as a concrete introduction, though its mellowness belies the surprising emotional range that the new album achieves compared to Beacon. Too bad it's not out before Christmas!
MP3: Matt Duncan - Lone Ranger
Check out Soul Step Records for more information on the album.