Brooklyn-based band Escaper recently released their debut album, Skeleton Key. Escaper consists of Will Hanza on guitar and vocals, Johnny Butler on saxophone, Adam Ahuja on keys, Jay Giacomazzo on bass and Andrew Nesbitt on drums. This seven track album takes listeners on an unpredictable stroll through exploratory tones, multicolored rhythms and colorful melodies full of airy notes that leave songs wide open for improvised jams to be interjected during live performances. A unique element to this record is that the band laid down all the tracks in one day, with one take each, at The Bunker Studio in Brooklyn, NY. Each musician simultaneously played in separate rooms, beautifully capturing the raw essence of a live performance.
The first track, “Skeleton Key, Pt. 1,” eases listeners into the album by playfully winding back and forth between light, jazzy beats and kaleidoscopic intonations. Picking up the energy, “Mutiny” lays out the vibes with heavy drums, deep bass and extended guitar notes that wrap around jazz infused keys and saxophone tones that linger on the edges of euphoric spaces, creating a relaxed mood for the listener.
“Lighthouse” throws out crunchier funkadelic rhythms, begging the listener to sway back and forth to the beat. Punchy keys start out this refreshing track before flowing into a combination of jazzed out saxophone and trippy guitar. Once again, deep bass and tight drums keep the musicians in line throughout the melody. The fusion of so many genres puts Escaper into a unique category, blurring the lines between the jazz and jam scenes.
A slow building “Night Crawler” is fully stocked with short bursts of brisk notes that tap dance their way through the tune, picking up varying musical elements that effortlessly move around the sweet-sounding melody. “Narwhal” glides around smooth jazz beats that flow on the edge of picturesque tones merged by the guitar, sax, and keyboard.
The album wraps up with “Skeleton Key, Pt. 2” in a way that highlights breathy sax and a splashy guitar/key combo before an energetic “Castles” brings the music to a close. Overall, this debut album is filled with fluid compositions that will come alive during live performances due to the spacious range left open for improvisational play. A solid package of laid back, uncomplicated tunes that seamlessly run the gamut from jazz to jam with touches of psychedelic grooves that will ease any listener into a relaxed mood.
For more information regarding Escaper and their new album, along with tour dates, please visit their official web site.