Friday, May 1, 2009

Loungecore, Jazz and The Gentle People

So I spent a hour listening to The Gentle People "Soundtracks for Living". The Gentle People are truly an international group, with members from the U.S., UK and Australia. Their style is a mixture of '50s, '60s kitsch jazz and '90s ambient (think Les Baxter, Martin Denny, Saint Etienne and The Orb.) The term at the time was called loungecore, as sub-genre of lounge music which was also a sub-genre of jazz. I always thought was pretty lame but that's just me. The best and most well known band in this genre was Pizzicato 5 from Japan (unfortunately lumped into this genre while being far and away ahead of it.)

The Gentle People have created a wonderfully relaxing vibe that made you curl up on the couch with a nice glass of wine and wish the day away.

"Soundtracks for Living" is their debut CD from 1997 (did I say 1997!). It holds up surprising well. I'm not saying this a stellar rediscovery and everyone should run out and buy or download it. But if you're looking for something fun, relaxing and relatively harmless this an excellent record for a Friday night with your companion or to close out an evening party. The band released their third album last year ("Galactic Confections") but for me "Soundtracks for Living" remains the standout. All their albums are available on iTunes. Take a listen and check them out...

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