Released to little fanfare on an indy record label a few weeks back, the Black Pumas' self-titled debut hasn't garnered much attention — except from those who really know their stuff.
As Pitchfork notes, the Austin-based duo "don’t shy away from signifiers of the past, conjuring the sounds of the late 1960s and early 1970s without succumbing to pure nostalgic pandering."
The site finds overtones of the Stax Records soul era, Otis Redding, RZA and even a little Creedence Clearwater Revival (the jury's still out on that), while we'd add Curtis Harding to the list, but there's no denying the end result is all kinds of awesome.
The band "pointedly avoids the pitfalls that plague well-intentioned retro-soul records, favoring feel over authenticity," as Pitchfork notes, with the sound on the stripped-down side and plenty of versatility on display, from classic soul stylings to folk-rock riffs.
"Colors," "Black Moon Rising," and "OCT 33" are true standouts but the whole album is well worth a listen. And you're going to be listening to it a lot.