Tomode (Sweden) - Golden Retriever (track from forthcoming EP)
Tomode (Carl Leanderson and Viktor Westerberg) is an unusual duo in that they produce sounds that are rarely heard these days. And I do mean sounds, in the plural.
This is the third track from their debut EP, which is scheduled for release later this year. The first one we reviewed, ‘Destiny Number 20’, was ridiculously funky and could have been a remix of Chic’s ‘Le Freak’.
The second one, ‘Autostrada’, we described as “three and a half sparkling minutes of something which hangs between electro and pop, 1980s groove, 1990s Italian House and 2020s club.”
‘Golden Retriever’ carries on where Autostrada’ left off, with one exception. The accompanying PR mentioned “a touch of yacht rock vibes.” Now I have clear ideas of what yacht rock is. For those not familiar with the phrase it refers to the sound created on the U.S. west coast in the 1970s and 80s; highly melodic, smooth as silk, soft, happy, with elements of R&B, rock and jazz, and largely electronic at the expense of acoustic. The production (usually of a very high standard) was sunny with breezy melodies and calm grooves, hence the ‘yacht’ connection.
The main practitioners included The Beach Boys (think ‘Sloop John B’ in particular), Hall & Oates, Captain and Tennille, The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan and Toto, who produced probably the ultimate example of yacht rock in ‘Africa’.
I was a little sceptical that sound could be recreated by Tomode but they come pretty damn close. It’s all there: the musical and lyrical exhilaration, conspicuous electric piano, semi-orchestral arrangement and a top level of production. Oh, and even a smidgen of acoustic guitar. Judas! And the song is about “embracing naivety and defeating your inner sceptic”, which fits the genre perfectly.
And just right for the 76-degree Celsius heat wave the Daily Express tells us is coming our way soon. What, in March?
There is also a “trippy, fantastical music video”, following the duo’s mascot Vigg “as he journeys from a mundane ‘everyday attitude’ to a truly Golden state of mind.” Just go easy on the ecstasy, Vigg.