BADBADNOTGOOD Is Back

I’m a big BADBADNOTGOOD fan. In fact, they’re the first band I ever wrote about on this site, about a year and a half ago. Their first two projects, BBNG and BBNG2, were entertaining mixtape-style jazz projects featuring fresh concepts and cover songs alike. They showcased plenty of potential and got the internet buzzing. They followed those up with III, their first album consisting entirely of original material. It was the perfect progression of their career. The album was great, and ended up being one of my favorite projects of 2014. It was even nominated for the Polaris Music Prize, which is an award given to the best Canadian album of the year.

They came back this spring with Sour Soul, a collaborative project with Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killa. I wouldn’t call myself much of a Wu-Tang or Ghostface fan, but I’ve heard enough of their music to be excited by a collaboration with BBNG. It sounded good on paper, but not much about it really stuck for me. Aside from a couple odd tracks I enjoyed, I haven’t even thought about the album in months.

Today, BADBADNOTGOOD came back with two new releases, which have sorta recaptured the magic for me. By my calculations, these serve as their first solo pieces released in over a year. (They first let loose “Velvet” last October.)

“Timewave Zero,” ironically, sounds a bit Wu-Tang-esque. This feels like the theme song from a dusty ’70s kung fu movie. It’s certainly more experimental than they’ve been on past solo albums, and the percussion alone is enough to mesmerize me.

“Here And Now” feels a bit more like vintage BBNG. The horns on this are incredibly warm, which is almost a prerequisite for good jazz, in my eyes. Leland Witty, saxophone extraordinaire, rolls through for a contribution. I’m not sure if this guy is technically a permanent band member yet, but he should be. After appearing on a couple of early tracks, he delivered one of my personal favorite moments of III on “Confessions” before contributing to Sour Soul. I don’t know what the band’s future plans are, but they really should involve this man.

No word yet on whether or not these two tracks are from an upcoming project, but even if they aren’t, it’s safe to say the group is back in the studio producing solo work. My fingers are crossed for a follow-up to III in 2016. I bet I can guess the title.