Campus band BackPOCKET (formerly known as DOPE AF) was on an indefinite hiatus this past year but made a triumphant return with its debut album, “Primary Colors.” The album, which melds jazz, hip hop, funk and R&B, features six originals and a cover of Donald Byrd’s “Think Twice” arranged by guest artist and senior Miles Allen. Two of the originals were created on the spot in the studio, further proving the group’s chemistry and talent. BackPOCKET is truly a collaborative effort, with each of the eight members steeped in improvisation and various genres, allowing their musical and non-musical personalities to become one and the same and tangle together in beautifully, dirtily funky ways.
Despite meshing so well and naturally, the band needed a leader to get through their hiatus and to get to the point of releasing thirty minutes of polished music. That leader was senior Alex Seizovic. While he most noticeably plays trumpet all over the album, his true talent shows itself in the forms of songwriter, producer and frontman. Since the band’s conception, Seizovic has had a clear vision for what the band could and should do, and with this hefty project of composing, improvising, recording several musicians and producing, he brought this vision to fruition concisely and groovily.
The result is a dense but accessible listen filled with enjoyable morsels that get better every time. Listeners might get initially get hooked with the delicate but deliberate vocals or the tight, crunchy horn lines, but as they venture on, the real joy in listening to the album will most likely be hearing how much creativity and fun the band has together. The way the vocals and horns come together with the often comical yet sometimes profound rapping, solid rhythm section and electric moments of improvisation is organic and contagious, and it is impossible to articulate my experience with this album without a smile on my face.
You can get BackPOCKET’s “Primary Colors” at realbackpocket.bandcamp.com.