To state the obvious, 2020 has been one of the worst years any of us will ever experience. It’s allowed us to turn toward simple comforts, like loved ones, fresh-baked bread, and meandering walks. And one thing I’m especially thankful for is the stellar music that 2020 is giving us, especially since live music isn’t an option. We really needed a win, and Ric Wilson‘s new EP is a true gift, laden with summertime anthems that will fuel our socially distanced house parties.
A Chicago native, Wilson ensures his music is a carefully crafted homage to the city he loves. And it shows on his new project with legendary producer Terrace Martin, despite Martin’s Los Angeles origins. With six tracks and a run time of 17 minutes, They Call Me Disco is a power-packed melange of genres that blend together with ease while also preserving Wilson’s signature poetic style.
“Breakin Rules” takes us back to the late ’70s, fit for a yacht party, or at least a spinning disco ball due to the onslaught of perfectly timed synth. The disco fanfare continues and reaches its peak on track “Don’t Kill The Wave,” leaving room for groovy interludes and funky bass riffs. “We don’t chase the wave/ We make the wave/ Get out the way,” Wilson croons, and it feels both empowering and certain.
The standout track for Chicagoans on this album is “Chicago Bae,” a catchy bop laden with Chicago neighborhood references and nostalgia for better days. The track samples “I Got’Cha,” a vintage song recorded by Numero Group artist Greenflow in 1977. Two R&B tracks slow down the tempo and round out the album, with mesmerizing harmonies on “Beyond Me” as a standout. In the end, the only thing this album left me wanting was just a few more minutes of grooves.
They Call Me Disco is available on streaming services and for purchase at Bandcamp! Go listen to this fantastic Chicago album now!