Gigi – Maintenant

February 7, 2010

Some might accuse me of being nostalgic for the 1960s by writing about this new lp by Gigi this week and the Keb Darge/Paul Weller disk last. Perhaps so, but it is also true that both are excellent new records that rank among the very best I’ve heard lately.

The story behind Gigi, apparently, goes like this. Colin Stewart, who as it turns out has produced some of my very favorite albums in recent years, including those by Pink Mountaintops, Black Mountain, Young and Sexy, and especially Destroyer, joins forces with Nick Krgovich from No Kids to compose some songs that have a retro-60s vibe, to take advantage of some newly-acquired vintage studio equipment. Then, an all-star cast, including but not limited to Zac Pennington of Parenthetical Girls, Rose Melberg, Owen Pallett, Karl Blau, and the always-wonderful Mirah, signs on to provide the vocal performances.

Most impressively, the lp manages to avoid the kind-of-half-finished sound that plagues a lot of side projects and wide collaborations. Though the revolving cast of vocalists means that each track has its own special personality, the whole record sounds remarkably, consistently great. And though Stewart and Krgovich draw their inspiration from 60s-era pop music, many of their guests bring in key elements of the sound of the Pacific Northwest/K Records scene as well, adding dimensions that make the songs truly original and not mere tributes, though worthy tributes in part they are.

All of which brings me to the title: though influenced by the past, this lp is very much of the here and now. Tres tres bien!

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