Founded in 2014, RECESS continues to impress fans with an infectious blend of electro, funk and soul, powered by the duo of Ian Gilley (keyboardist) and Drew Birch (guitar/production). After jamming together, the two have been inspired to produce new music, inspired by all sorts of styles including the late great J. Dilla. Two years later, the duo are finally ready to release The Brothel Gospel, their debut EP.

Listen to the great five-track release below, and scroll down to read out more about this exciting band and new release from Birch himself! You can also order the album via iTunes.

L4LM: Your band has seen enormous growth since its foundation in 2014. How did the project form?

Drew Birch: We met in elementary school and linked back up after college. Both of us worked on music in our spare time but we weren’t taking it as seriously as we are now. There were a couple songs I had never released that we embellished on and then the rest we made together. A few weeks later, we snagged all of our gear, headed to a studio on the outskirts of town and just started writing. No expectations, no format… just started working on music.

L4LM: Where does the name RECESS come from?

DB: We wrote a song with organ and guitar licks that kind of bounced back and fourth that never made it to the album. We originally named it ‘RECESS’ because of the loose playful banter between the instruments. Recess is normally associated with high energy and fun so it just fit the style.

L4LM: Your new album has a lot of J. Dilla influences, including the track “MicroDilla.” What is it about Dilla’s music that influenced you, and how do you bring those influences to light on Brothel Gospel while maintaining your own unique voice?

DB: Most producers have a background in hip hop. I think that’s where it all starts, a classic 90 bpm track that can really flow in any direction musically.  Once you start getting into sampling and drums, you find the producers that you just click with. It’s not just about Dilla, there are a lot of producers out there that have that bounce or that raw sample selection… once you find those guys, you realize it’s about presentation and vibe. Letting the drums and bass swing a bit and fit into a lazy pocket just has more flow.

L4LM: Can you describe the Brothel Gospel sound?

DB: The name sort of blossomed from writing these grimy organ church chords over melancholic guitar lines, so we try and keep that theme prevalent throughout the album regardless of the vibes of the track.

How will that translate into live performances?

DB: We have some call and response licks we play together that sort of lets each instrument preach its gospel per se.  You’re essentially speaking a language to an audience through your instrument and that’s what we try to do in a live setting too.