Polyrhythmics sound originated in Seattle’s underground deep funk scene combining impossibly tight grooves with bold brass and hypnotic percussion that showcased elements of R&B, progressive jazz, and Afrobeat which defined the instrumental group’s early era sound.
Now on their thirteenth year as a recording project and touring ensemble, the band’s sound continues to evolve following six full length albums, several EPs and live releases. The virtuosic musicianship and musical conversation built on a relentless touring schedule of the previous decade has led them to a brand of psych-funk that fills a room with an impending mood where anything could happen – sometimes evoking their brighter and cinematic Fela-influences, but also a more sinister and darker turn toward a more progressive sonic palette.
Ben Bloom: Guitars, Grant Schroff: Drums, Nathan Spicer: Keyboards, Jason Gray: Bass, Scott Morning: Trumpet, Elijah Clark: Trombone, Art Brown: Sax and Flute
For the bicoastal six-piece Mama Magnolia—vocalist Megan Letts, saxophonist Alex Cazet, guitarist Thomas Jennings, drummer Jackson Hillmer, trumpeter Carrie McCune, and bassist Zach Jackson—the process of making their first full-length Dear Irvington was an essential remedy amidst distress. Following a successfully overfunded Kickstarter campaign, Dear Irvington was a comfort for Mama Magnolia to lean into amidst a continually harrowing time, while also turning tumultuous, personal stories into ostensibly groovy jaunts. They enlisted producer Robert Ellis and former White Denim drummer and engineer Josh Block to help funnel their ideas and further animate their intricate, sometimes nerdy, sophisticated rock compositions. There’s no reservation in diving into the deep end of depression (“Grey”), unpacking the betrayal of a loved one (“Each Time You Lie”), or expressing frustration with another who won’t take a chance on a relationship (“Try Me”). Dear Irvington focuses on empathetic missives, highlighting Mama Magnolia’s emotional maturation to explore complex emotions rather than run away from them.