[engl] On his new record "Companionship", London-based Soft-Rock, Soul and Disco artist Joel Sarakula keeps the mood easy and the grooves deep. Ten new songs see Sarakula develop a deeper, more introspective lyrical style from his previous works as he celebrates and laments friendships, love and loneliness. Interspersed with a few standout up-tempo tracks to keep the ship sailing, “Companionship” is a chill-out album and listening experience of the highest order.
"Companionship" opens with "Midnight Driver", a driving soft-rock fantasy where the narrator laments his partner's nocturnal habits: 'When she's coming up, it gets me down'. The Californian sun-kissed guitars, vocal stylings and percussion all help to set a cinematic mood which unsurprisingly also makes it a great driving song. On the introspective "King Of Clowns", Sarakula creates a pop song that calls to mind the craftmanship of Hall & Oates and Elvis Costello. Both an admission of guilt and an unapologetic statement of intent, his low vocal careens in the dangerous divide between self-pity and self-parody: "My bad decisions worked out for a while, I'd do my dance tried to make you smile, I'll never wise up it's just the way I am". These confessions all occur over a down-tempo funk groove complete with some vintage synthesizer musings that makes the track ready to be sampled for a hip-hop record.
"Sunshine Makes Me" steps straight out of its mid-1970s swimming pool, heavily dripping in jazz fusion to dry off in the cold light of today's sunshine. The chorus is a mantra of desire, needs and reality that sees Sarakula sing 'Sunshine makes me lose my mind, thirty degrees and my eyes get so wide. Dreaming big and living slow, don't you know that time is on our side". On "Companionship", Joel Sarakula, prolific writer, producer, performer and multi-instrumentalist finally unleashes his chill-out pretensions. In this follow up to the critically acclaimed "Love Club" (2018) he develops a deeper and more mature compositions and production style. His love of all things vintage extends to a devotion to analog synthesizers and on "Companionship" you can hear a genuine love of synthesis that at moments is reminiscent of 70s synth production pioneers Todd Rundgren and George Duke.
Joel Sarakula will tour "Companionship" through Europe and the UK this Spring and Summer 2020 with his musical companions. Born in Sydney, based in London and a true internationalist, Sarakula tours with pickup bands sourced from each territory he plays in: a Barcelona band for Spain, a Berlin band for Germany and so forth. This cross-cultural exchange is a sly nod to the golden era of the 1960s and 1970s when travelling US pop, soul and blues artists would do the same.