Welcome to the 21st!‘s new album, “Coffee,” delves into the world of indie pop with a thematic dedication to the art of coffee – from brewing and blending to savoring and adoring.
This EP, which marks the second album from the Dallas-based band, is a harmonious fusion of various musical influences, including indie, gospel, R&B, orchestral pop, alternative, and a touch of 70s rock. Smooth background vocals are woven into the musical tapestry for that extra special touch.
The talented Bob Blumenfeld, hailing from Frisco, Texas, takes the reins as the songwriter, while Touanda from Manchester, UK, lends her lyrical and vocal talents. The entire orchestration, drumming, production, and mixing were skillfully handled by the iconic Dallas figure, John Dufilho.
The album kicks off with the catchy single, “Gold,” a song that equates coffee to being as valuable as gold, at least in the eyes of coffee lovers and the corporate giants who sell it. This track showcases Touanda’s captivating vocals, Bob Blumenfeld’s steady acoustic guitar, and John Dufilho’s smooth rock beat, complemented by new horn sections and backing vocals.
The album’s five tracks are like a perfectly brewed cup of coffee, with “Happiness Greets Me” leading the way, capturing the joy of a sunrise accompanied by that first cup of joe. Touanda is joined by Josh Bowale and the Lux Choir from Nigeria, with synths, background vocals, and surprises enhancing the musical experience.
The third track, “Kaldi and His Dancing Goats,” recounts the fascinating and seldom-told tale of coffee’s discovery in Ethiopia in the year 900 A.D. Kaldi, a goat shepherd, observed his goats’ lively dances after nibbling on red beans from a peculiar mountainside plant. He sampled the beans himself, noticed their stimulating effect, and introduced them to his community. This song is presented in two versions, one as an orchestral pop piece and the other as an indie pop gem, later harmoniously combined like the blending of coffee.
Continuing the coffee journey, “Brewed Passions (We Can Brew It)” and “Instant Satisfaction!” unfold their narratives. “Brewed Passions” describes the story of two young lovers grooving to R&B tunes and sharing a coffee on a chilly day. The album concludes with “Instant Satisfaction!”, a rock song paying homage to classic coffee advertisements from the 1950s and 1960s. This track features milky smooth harmonies layered over classic lead guitar and drums, a signature style of John Dufilho.
The inspiration for this album stems from the realization that while we learn about countless things as children, coffee, an essential part of adult life, often goes overlooked in our education. Bob Blumenfeld, with his historian’s heart, was motivated by the book “Uncommon Ground: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed the World” by Mark Pendergrass. This book shed light on coffee’s historical significance and inspired Bob to create this EP, bridging the knowledge gap about how coffee has transformed the world and human life.
“Coffee” is available on all major digital platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Bandcamp, and more, today.