Adam Green and Binki Shapiro “Adam Green and Binki Shapiro”
(Rounder/ Concord Records)
The new album by Moldy Peaches & Little Joy band members, Adam Green and Binki Shapiro, didn’t make much sense to Nyika Suttie at first. Then she heard their album.
There are some things that appear to happen for a reason. We all have our Sliding Doors moments, and notice things which are just so “right” they feel perfect. The friendship of Adam Green and Binki Shapiro is one such thing. It may seem surprising that Green, of raucous Moldy Peaches fame, and Shapiro of the Brazilian / American super group Little Joy would come together to make a mellow, honest album of sixties-inspired music, but I’m very glad that they did.
Collaborating across an entire continent (requiring trips between New York and Los Angeles to write and record the album), the gaps between sessions allowed a complexity and reflectiveness to come into the lyrics that is seen none too often; and this is apparent in the ethereal first song “Here I Am”. Binki’s voice is rich but sweet without being saccharine, which is perfectly complimented by Adam’s deep and sometimes dark vocals. The album sounds incredibly mature and well thought out, it’s hard to imagine this is the same Adam Green who once Downloaded Porn with Daveo and asked “Who’s got the crack?”
Binki Shapiro is best known for her work with Little Joy, but she has also collaborated with Beck, Devendra Banhart, MGMT and Wolfmother on an album of Leonard Cohen covers for Beck’s record club. With her voice and talent I don’t see any reason she won’t come to prominence in the next few years, and this album may be the one to tip that balance.
The theme of honesty and bittersweet relationship recollections comes to a head in “Pity Love” and flows effortlessly through the rest of the album. The music is simple, just guitars and voices, and sounds so relaxed so as to be lying down. But it does this so well. It’s an album for a lazy Sunday, for winding down after work, but mellow doesn’t mean middle of the road. It’s intricate, it’s delicate and just so, well, lovely, that I feel I will be returning to it for many a Sunday to come.