Remember that time, Wilmington, when Lotus came to Greenfield Lake Amphitheater in 2016 and we danced and laughed and danced some more? Remember live music unfettered by screens or buffer times? Remember the good ol’ days? Well, Pepperidge Farm remembers …
Anyway, Lotus has released another fun instrumental number called “Bjorn Gets A Haircut” (haircuts, sigh…) with an official music video. This is off of their latest studio album, “Free Swim,” which will be available on vinyl and more Friday, August 21.
There’s not really a pinpointed style to encompass Lotus. If anything, when they formed in 1999, bass-player Jesse Miller suggested to encore they laid new groundwork for what an improvisational band could be. Lotus has as much or more to offer in original composition as much as in improvisation. “Really, our big turning point and more of Lotus’ influence was what we did after that first album [‘Vibes,’ 2002],” he told encore before their 2016 show at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater. “We kind of flipped it on its head more in like a rock direction and we’re always balancing those things.”
While Lotus is at heart an instrumental band, they had guest vocalists on their 2016 release “Eat the Light.” The album’s title track featured long-time collaborator Gabe Otto (Pan Astral), as well as Johnny Fissinger, Oriel Poole, Steve Yutzy-Burkey and others throughout the LP. “Free Swim” is back to Lotus instrumental compositions, with 10 tracks that embody those familiar dance grooves of soul, funk and dirty disco that can get a booty moving.
Written and produced by brothers Luke and Jesse Miller, “Free Swim” is meant to pay homage to the greats of music’s past that all five Lotus members have listened to and influenced by overtime. The album’s “jazzy-house” single “Catacombs” was inspired by the likes of Daft Punk, St. Germain, Nile Rodgers. The brothers talked about the disco foundation of “Bjorn Gets a Haircut” in a release.
“It takes cues from the Nordic disco playbooks of producers like Todd Terje and Lindstrom,” Luke Miller (keyboards, guitar) detailed. “The main hook is a Mellotron vocal ‘Oh’ patch leading into a chorus of slick chromatic chord changes on the piano. The guitar takes over in the middle for an improvisatory freeride.”