Though they have only been releasing records since 2011, Sammy D, Mikey Tello and Ryan Williams have known each other for years. Meeting at social gatherings in their native San Francisco, they have been neighbours and even roommates, initially forming as a result of ‘mucking about’ in Ryan’s kitchen. Starting with a piano and a guitar, next throwing some offhand vocals into the mix, they found their feet organically, in a true Doo-wop fashion. If mucking about sounds this good, then boy are we glad it happened.
Each member ultra-talented in their own right – Sammy for sultry vocals, Ryan for his multi-instrumental dexterity and Mikey for his oh-so-fluid synth work – their first release with Life & Death was an indicator of what was to come. From the mesmerising instrumental of ‘Long Lost Friends’, to the dark muted tom toms and the three-note analogue synth in deep house favourite ‘Soft’, it is clear that variation is key to their success.
PillowTalk’s experience and background in so many genres makes classifying their sound a near impossible task. Fusing classic R&B, boogie, disco, and soul with underground house rhythms, their twinkling melodic tracks have created new expectations for electronic producers and live musicians alike. Seeing them step into their own as a band, ‘Je Ne Sais Quoi’ is a statement of intent born from the highs and lows of their loves, laughs and heartbreaks thus far.
Shuffling through aforementioned genres, upbeat lead track ‘Lullaby’ nods to 80s-inspired synth pop, ‘We All Have Rhythm’ looks to psychedelic funk and like a breath of fresh air, ‘Naïve’ delivers a slower tempo electronic ballad. Through each contrasting variation, soul is kept at the core. Collectively it is a soundtrack to long nights, lazy days and the hazy space between sleeping and waking. ‘Je Ne Sais Quoi’ spans everything you want from the band: sunsplashed jams, peaktime party tunes and lowlit moments of intimacy, making PillowTalk a new breed of dance music treasure. It really is rather lovely.
PillowTalk – ‘Je Ne Sais Quoi’, Wolf + Lamb, is set for release March 17th 2014.
Words: Brooke McCord