Well, guys, it’s another week. It’s only Tuesday, I’m already exhausted, and I just found out I will be covering a giant festival this Thursday- Saturday. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for festival life to be back but finding out about it a bit last minute has me a bit stressed about how I’m going to keep up with everything else. It’s the kind of stress that not even the massage I just got can help but let’s see if Tortuga Shade’s new album ‘Revolving’ can work some magic on me.
As soon as the calming nature of the opening track “Voilà!” took over, all of my stress fell to the wayside. It starts off a little hazy with a gorgeous guitar part before almost therapeutic and jazzy vocals come in. Within no time, the song takes off and brings an undeniable sense of energy to the table while still being completely freeing and refreshing. Although so different than what I tend to listen to during my normal day, I could tell by the end of this opening track that this album was going to be just what I needed tonight.
“Sunflowers” literally slid into my speakers in the smoothest way possible. Again, although not super quiet and subtle beats, there was something so calming about the jazziness and almost hippie-vibe that came from this track. I was so lost in how free this track made me feel that I almost missed the switch into “Nautical” which, again, slid right into my house with ease. There’s something just a tad bit bouncier about this track that made it an instant favorite of mine. Along with the slight bounciness, there seemed to be a little bit more of an edge in the vocals that I fell head over heels for and the lyrics hit me just right. What I’m trying to say is this track is just perfect.
Things slow back down to a super chill vibe with “Comes Around” but the energy level from Tortuga Shades doesn’t falter. It was as this track played through that I realized, although a familiar vibe, I can’t quite place this band stylistically. I keep wanting to say jazzy but they also have this super chill reggae vibe to them while being able to sneak into indie-pop playlist beautifully. This constant shift in sounds made “Comes Around” fly by and, before I knew it, the title track, “Revolving”, had started playing. Personality is heard loud and clear throughout this album (at least I’m going to go ahead and assume that will be an ongoing thing) but this track really showcased a more tender side of this band that I found absolutely astonishing. “Revolving” deserves to be the title track just due to the sheer power this track has in it while not straying too far from Tortuga Shade’s unique sound.
The sixth track on this album, “High & Alone”, continues to showcase this more sensitive and almost somber side of the band. With a stunning guitar with a perfect tone to it and vocals that lean towards the side of sexy and sultry, this track is hot and heavy while, again, being infectiously boppy like the previous songs. I loved this blend and it’s what made this track another instant favorite of mine. I loved how the guitar seemed to play along with everything else going on. Although clearly written out with planned notes, there was just something playful about the way the guitar notes fit into this track.
“Year of the Dog” was the perfect follow-up to “High & Alone”. The playfulness of “High & Alone” is quickly replaced by something a bit more restrained and serious feeling about “Year of the Dog”. There’s almost a little grunge influence that comes to fruition in this track that I truly hope to get more of in the remaining tracks. Sadly, I didn’t get that with “Zipline” but what I did get was just as amazing. Another just straight-up solid track, “Zipline” had me hook line and sinker by the vocals. Honestly, the vocals are a stand-out factor throughout this album but I feel like every word in “Zipline” comes with a weight attached that makes it an absolute stunner of a song.
The power felt in the first few tracks come back with a vengeance in “The Legend of Eduardo Santana”. The band wastes no time and jumps right into super intricate instrumentation that reigned supreme throughout this song. I found it hard to really focus on one single element just because there was so much going on in this track but that is part of this track’s charm. It’s busy but not overwhelming. Everything fits so perfectly and everything is so interesting. I truly don’t think catching everything in this track is the point– the point, like on the rest of this album, is just enjoying the creativity and talent that Tortuga Shades possesses.
Honestly, ‘Revolving’ could have ended with “The Legend of Eduardo Santana” but Tortuga Shades still had two tracks up their sleeves. “Never See The Sun” reminded me a lot of “Year of the Dog” with an almost mature approach to the vocals. Again, don’t get me wrong, this is still an infectiously bouncy track but there’s just a serious tone in the vocals and word choice that I truly enjoyed and had me captivated until “B.M.S.” took over to end this brilliant album.
Much like how “Voilà!” kicked off this album, “BMS” ends this amazing journey on a very calming and almost therapeutic note while leaving you with Tortuga Shade’s distinct energy left in your soul. Not quite going out like a lion or lamb, this final track left me satisfied but wanting so much more from this band.
My Favorite Track(s): “Nautical”; “High & Alone”
For Fans Of: Calm and Energy at the same time; Distinct Style Mash-Up; Creativity
Daydream-ability: 6 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie slept behind me; Autumn snacked on what was left of dinner
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 7 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 7.2 out of 10
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