Vulfpeck is a funk quartet from the Great Lakes region of Ann Arbor, Michigan, but I would hardly classify them in a solitary genre by any stretch of the imagination. Rather, I would say Vulfpeck is a seven-layer salad of analog-muzak, rhythm and blues, funk, rock, smooth soul, synth-stream disco and improvisational jazz topped with an optimistic and nostalgic VHS after-school-special vibe.
After forming in 2011, Vulfpeck released a smattering of six-song EPs and finally now, its second full-length LP appropriately titled The Beautiful Game. To understand Vulfpeck’s unique style fully is to dive into the early EPs and familiarize yourself with the nascent versions of what are tweaked and complete on the full length records.
For example, the song “Margery, My First Car” is a marinated and mature version of what is composed on the band’s 2013 EP, My First Car. The galloping funky bass trot of “Daddy, He Got a Tesla” makes way for the ’80s dance party-esque “Conscious Club” that feeds the youth baseball soul of “1 for 1, DiMaggio.” Vulfpeck creates musical landscapes that harvest the imagination and manicure creativity all while feeding the soul.
All in all, Vulfpeck’s soundtrack brings a retro-fresh bag of optimism and a nod to simpler days and hope for the future. It’s what America needs right now. You’re welcome.
- Chris Rucker