Love & Gravity is the dynamite new record from Object Heavy, thus far an underground phenomenon hailing from the ganja-farm hinterlands of Northern California. A document that represents something of a rebirth for the crew, the throwback soul-groove merchants have teamed up with Colorado’s venerable record label Color Red to deliver the group’s sophomore LP.
Mining the annals of R&B, classic soul, gospel, funk, and breakbeat rare-groove, the Emerald Triangle contingent has successfully funked down to an eclectic avenue. On Love & Gravity, Object Heavy does well to plug into yesteryear, whilst still keeping the vibes contemporary and the music relevant in the band’s own style. Fans of the Daptone scene or Durand Jones & the Indications will be swiftly turned on by the melodious sounds of Object Heavy’s latest platter.
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Over the past few years, Object Heavy has found themselves onstage supporting established veterans Fred Wesley and Parliament Funkadelic, plus modern day luminaries like Orgone and DJ Logic. There was a debut album, and some early lineup changes, before the group settled into its current killin’ configuration. Vocalist Richard Love joined the fray and leveled things up in a major way, delivering a stirring performance with his new co-conspirators: Brian Swislow (keys), Leo Plummer (guitar), Ian Taylor (bass), and Sam Kaplan-Good (drums).
In 2019, they linked up with the uber-talented Kelly Finnegan (Monophonics) to produce a new batch of songs they’d developed, seeking a certain sonic aesthetic and vintage fabric that he’s uniquely suited for. Tracked at Transistor Sound Studio in the Bay Area, then mixed by Finnegan and Sergio Rios (Orgone), the Love & Gravity sessions revealed a chemistry that was palpable, and this newfound perfect partnership worked wonders. The album reflects an evolution and rejuvenation, and is the soundtrack to the band’s transformation.
Opening salvo “Alone” unleashes a rapid-fire, high-octane barnburner that leaps out the gates with a focused, hard-as-nails groove and abundant pocket. “For The Better” is a singalong anthem in the making, the steezy mid-tempo number a fine composition that calls back to the ethos of shimmering ’70s soul. The first single released in 2022, “Feel Right” deals an intoxicating groove underneath the electrifying performance from Mr. Love.
Object Heavy – “Righteous Walk”
Latest single “Righteous Walk” might be the record’s finest slab of swagger. The banger deftly channels crushed velvet smoking jackets, but the band injects the cut with a detectable modern measure that makes it land right on time today. Other album highlights include the fatback funk of “Reflection”, and the stirring title track, a heart-filler that closes the festivities with proper panache.
Vocalist Richard Love explores his personality and impressive range, reinvigorating Object Heavy while unspooling a masterful performance as master of ceremonies. A sturdy, understated backbone of steamy R&B funk emanates from the instrumentalists, furnishing the band with their throbbing thump that powers the vehicle with a humble authority. The sum of these parts is properly burnished by producer Finnegan’s Midas touch.
Throughout nine lush and lovely tracks, Love & Gravity maintains a potent pulse that serves the songs, yet never gets too busy nor overdone. The record is chock full of analog daydreams, top-down convertible cruises at sunset, power struts down the city sidewalk underneath the glimmer of street lamps, and clandestine romance in the shadows of the night. On Love & Gravity, one thing becomes readily apparent: now is the time for Object Heavy to separate from the throwback pack and shine.
Object Heavy – Love & Gravity