After a slew of singles slung out by Anderson Paak’s old live tour band, Free Nationals has finally dropped a full album. You may have seen them online as the band behind Paak on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert, or even live with Anderson on tour. Of course, it is no secret that Paak’s music was supercharged with funk and rhythm. The band’s sound continues the resurgence of funk that Anderson Paak’s music embodied. Since the release of their singles, the heads have turned, and now they nod back and forth to every groove that exits the speakers.
From start to finish, the album is rich in funk and features. There is a little something for everyone on this album. The first track to catch my eye before the album dropped was Time, featuring Kali Uchis and the late Mac Miller. A relatable mantra regarding life and love, this track set the stage for my expectations. While a slight pop sound resides in this song in particular, the rest of the album reflects the sound of each featured artist. This being said, Free Nationals are a complementary puzzle piece to every vocalist featured in the album. Anderson Paak’s feature in Gidget supports his renowned funk, whereas Beauty & Essex fulfills the slow, sensual grooves of Daniel Caesar and sweet, slapping basslines of Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
If you’re looking for something new to bop, sway, or groove to, then the new self-titled Free Nationals album is most definitely the move. With twenty features, the four talented men of Free Nationals wield their instruments to provide an other worldly, funky sound in comparison to the music being made today. If you’ve heard and enjoyed the singles they released, the album is finally here; give ‘em a listen!