It may be completely unrealistic to claim that the recent global lockdowns were, in any sense, a blessing. However, I will posit that the isolating nature of those shutdowns has brought with it some cracking music. For Third Development, it was the catalyst for their passion project. Third Development is a band “born out of a burning desire to create art at a time where there was nowhere to go but ‘within”. Third Development may be a band born out of lockdown, but in no way is it restricted by borders or boundaries. Whilst the founder, Geoffrey James, is based in Canada, Third Development has members spanning from New York, Italy, England, Canada and Finland. They are, by far, the most global act I have ever had the pleasure to review.
Their latest single ‘Echoes’ is an enticing example of the influences Third Development effortlessly weave together throughout their discography. They have somehow brought together the seductive stylings of jazz with a fresh, electronica feel. It’s a delicate mix, but it is sonic sorcery in this track. Layers of trumpets and brass adorn the bed of synths that make up most of the soundscape. Sailing over it all is the vibrant vocal line of English vocalist Lucid Letters. Luring us into a false sense of security, Lucid Letters begins this track with the utter ear candy that is her smooth tone. She was made for the jazz ballad. However, as swiftly as you settle into the sweeping chords and brush strokes of the drums, we are swept into a rap section rich with a regular hip-hop beat and a bouncy bassline. Whilst, to begin with, this seems to come fairly out of nowhere, it doesn’t take long to give in to the groove. There’s a stunning symbiotic nature between the vintage instruments and the electronic elements that make for fascinating listening. There are subtle synths that swim in and out, intricate changes to drum breaks and a sax line that sews the two worlds together. ‘Echoes’ is an absolute feast for the ears and, if you’re like me, it’ll be ringing in your head well after your first listen.
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By Sasha Lauryn