Leave Your Window Open
Following 2020’s LOCK-IN album and subsequent concert film, Fat Freddy’s Drop set up shop on a grass tennis court in Wairunga, near the coast on New Zealand’s North Island, for a filmed concert with no audience present. The eight-piece ensemble debuted five new songs alongside two established favorites (2013’s “Bones” and 2015’s “Wairunga Blues”) for a unique live album that even captures the passing rain and high winds. Singer Joe Dukie remains at a soulful simmer on opener “Coffee Black” as heady synth and electronics bubble up in tandem with the trusty horn trio. “Bones” confirms the lasting influence of Bill Withers on Dukie’s nuanced singing, while “Shady” slows and stretches synth-funk grooves to hypnotic effect. “Bush Telegraph” may be the most straightforward reggae track here, but the percolating 10-minute-plus explorations of “Leave Your Window Open” and “Dig Deep” remind us just how far Fat Freddy’s Drop has expanded beyond that single genre.