The smooth sophistication of Joel Sarakula is a welcome relief in lockdown, kick back, grab a cold lemonade and listen to the easy breeze funk, soul and blues of his new album Companionship released by Legere Recordings. Dabbling with sounds that adorned Innervisions, What’s Going On and Kool and the Gang, this perfect summer album will no doubt grace turntables across the land. Opening number Don’t Give Up On Me has that perfect match of 70’s smooth funk guitar, harmonies that sound as sweet as strawberries being sliced into quarters plus a familiar sound to Summer Madness. Game Of Spies continues in the smooth groove tone, sounding a perfect match for Music Is My Sanctuary.
Harmony has a slightly more upbeat funk feel, with some cool female vocals echoes of Bobby Lyle. Indigo Night would benefit from a satin pair of flares, cool shades and car windows down, maybe the video game Out Run should consider this as one of the soundtracks as you breeze by competitors. London Road has that Nile Rodgers sounding clicky funky guitar once more, it’s something you don’t tire of, especially with the rest of the band are singing from the same hymn sheet, as they are here, a real treat.
Midnight Driver has a Do It Again feel with a glockenspiel in the background and bass guitar taking the spotlight, Joel’s vocals throughout fit perfectly, a cool distributor of lyrics in a gentle cracked vocal, maybe hints of Gene Harris and Ben Sidran. Final track which is the single lifted from the album Sunshine Makes Me is another summer pearler, 70’s sounding synth is laiden all over the track with an addictive chorus, this is sort of track that should be a stone cold winner across grass filled arboretums and beaches, instead it look as the balconies of the world should reverberate with this tune and indeed the rest of the album. A total winner of a long player, one that should grace all groovy record collections.
Companionship can be purchased via the following link