Pure `60s rockabilly and nostalgic folk-rock and blues licks completely coat Denise James’ third disc, Promises. The Detroit, Michigan native has a `60s Nancy Sinatra voicing, coupled with a Jefferson Airplane and The Mamas And The Papas retro folk-rock chaff. The arrangements on Promises are effectively immersed in an earlier era of flower children philosophies, tambourine jangly rhythms, and the sluggish tempos and dissolving heavy notes of the Hammond B2 organ and Moog synthesizers. If the disc did not say the album was made in 2006, I would swear these songs were recorded in 1966, with a character representative of the `60s soft rock music scene tracing bygone tones and formations forged by the The Byrds and Johnny Cash.
The tracks on Promises range from balladry like “Go Ahead And Change Your Mind,” donning trills of violin and cello parries, to mid-tempo drives like “Let’s Take The Day Off.” The `60s rock tint on the song “It’s Never What You Say” is buffed by spurts of trumpet rings. The numbers jingle and pitter-patter with a `60s chugging roll and wistful, laid back retro pop-scapes. The mundane timbres, drowsy twangs, and monophonic levels have a veneer relatable to similar modern throwback bands like The Raveonettes and Dressy Bessy.
There isn’t much in the way of contemporary dosage—the verses are stout in concentric coils of `60s folk/rock blues vapors. The album works wonders at recapturing a music scene of lost years. The calibrations are nostalgic and the expressions are flaccid and tranquil, but locked in another place in time.
The Raveonettes – Chain Gang Of Love
Transcendence – Nothing Is Cohesive
Dressy Bessy – Sound Go Around