Nu Deco Ensemble picked up some good vibrations on the group’s latest suite, Still Cruisin’ – An Orchestral Tribute To The Beach Boys. Released on Thursday, the nine-track offering hears the progressive orchestra exploring the catalog of the groundbreaking 1960s surf-rock group.
Still Crusin’ spans the Beach Boys’ 1960s heyday with translations of songs from Pet Sounds as well as Brian Wilson‘s famously-unfinished opus, SMilE. The orchestral nature of Wilson’s dense compositions lends them idyllically to Nu Deco, as evidenced from the opening “Heroes & Villians”. Nu Deco goes beyond the orchestral pieces as well, delivering a rendition of Dick Dale‘s “Misirlou”, a song covered by The Beach Boys during their early days.
“With always having the intention of bringing something fresh and new to this incredible music, the work creates new harmonic and groove environments, expands on and plays with famous melodies and motifs, and also pays tribute to the genius instrumentation and orchestration inherent in the original songs,” Nu Deco Ensemble co-founder and artistic director Sam Hyken, who arranged the new suite with his co-writers Jason Matthews, Aaron Lebos, and Armando Lopez, said. “Personally speaking, the music of The Beach Boys is some of my absolute favorite, and has musically impacted me since childhood.”
Even with iconically familiar songs such as “Good Vibrations”, “God Only Knows”, or “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” the orchestra finds new ways to explore Wilson’s vast musical landscape. Dick Dale’s iconic guitar work from “Misirlou” comes full-circle in Nu Deco’s interpretation of “Good Vibrations”, melding classical with rock n’ roll in new, innovative ways that expand on Wilson’s vision from over half a century ago.
“What is lesser known about this transformative and innovative group, is not just the impact they had on the American vernacular, but how they incorporated Classical, Jazz, R&B, as well as innovative recording techniques and unique non-traditional instruments such as the Theremin into their wild, yet creative music,” Jacomo Bairos, Nu Deco’s other co-founder and artistic director, said. “The wide pallets of colors, techniques and inspiration they drew from truly made them a genre-bending band who dared to create highly-curated, diverse and avant-garde music, while also producing some of the most memorable and melodic driven songs that have left numerous imprints on generations of music lovers for decades. We intentionally are highlighting the diverse and unique output of this transformational American band.”
Stream the Nu Deco Ensemble Still Cruisin’ – An Orchestral Tribute To The Beach Boys suite via the player below or on your preferred streaming platform. The orchestra will premiere a video of the live performance on Monday at 7 p.m. ET here.
Nu Deco Ensemble – Still Cruisin’ – An Orchestral Tribute To The Beach Boys