With his singles “Bubblin” and “Tints,” we were all ready to be blessed with some fire from Anderson .Paak‘s next project. What we didn’t expect was that we’d also be getting that work from his touring band Free Nationals. The band — whose members are guitarist Jose Rios, bassist Kelsey Gonzales, drummer Callum Connor and keyboardist Ron Tnava Avant — is readying its self-titled debut for release and they’re introducing it in a big way with the sultry lead single “Beauty & Essex.”
The fellas created a slinky, sexy groove on the track. A thick bass line melds with keys and rhythm guitar to create a jam that seems ripped right out of a ’70s love groove and reimagined for a modern audience. Stepping into this world with them is Canadian soul singer Daniel Caesar and indie band Unknown Mortal Orchestra, who help to further seduce listeners with spot-on vocals. Daniel’s up first on the track. He describes a waking moment that could lead to some morning sex as he sings of “feeling on that booty” and seeing where this thing goes. Though his voice is distorted (as is his signature), UMO’s Ruban Nielson also manages to keep the sexy mood going while also picking up on the themes of loneliness and longing that are woven throughout the proceedings. It’s a dope first effort and we can’t wait to hear what else the fellas have in store.
The upcoming album will also feature appearances from Syd, Kali Uchis, late rapper Mac Miller and quite a few more. Get into “Beauty & Essex” and prepare yourself from what’s coming from Free Nationals next.