SOTBMusic: FootsXColes Orchestrate a Masterful Musical Expedition with Vivid ‘A Happy Home’ EP

You would be surprised to know the immense, world-class talent lurking in your backyard. Jiraiya from Naruto once said “A place where someone still thinks about you is a place you can call home.” It would make sense that a home should contain good memories, good feelings, and good auras, correct? Fortunately for you all, FootsXColes unapologetically display the colossal talent that are packing right in your backyard, making you feel more musically home than ever with the clever jazz-tech blend of an EP entitled A Happy Home.
1.) Analog:


It’s all digital.
The start of this journey with the duo commences with an enigmatic, but mesmerizing technological opening sequence. In this introduction, the listener plops their seat in the ride as the computerized, Dirty Computer love-child of a sound covers the space. The introduction, hence the term analog, feels like you’re being plugged into something great, as the flourishing drums and instrumentation signal that the show has begun after the line:

Cause I be feeling analog.

Like an edible that you stated “doesn’t even hit like that”, the booming trumpets sucker-punch the listener directly into the next evolution of the song. The canny musical composing skills of the pair is apparent as FootsXColes keep you hooked with their smooth instrumentation and harmonization as the track progresses into its final act. The tempo kicks into hyper-drive while revisiting the initial act’s melody ever so slightly. 

The duo’s goal of the EP harnessing the jazz sound is already realized with the freestyling jam session during the last leg of the track until it fades out, completing the duo’s mission of successfully and sonically navigating you to an interstellar journey. With intros for many musical projects nowadays, we do not receive full compositions, especially those lasting 4 minutes and keeping you gripped with every portion. The boys FootsXColes shoot off to a good start before the splash of the next track.


2.) Hills:

Run for the hills while you can still, while you can still, you just need a day!

A DMV-creative by the name of Ahriel Nari would sagaciously harp on how paramount it is for the second track of any project during her review of Ari Lennox’s Shea Butter Baby debut album. Whether the first track is shaky, straight mid, or a slam dunk, the second track’s mission is to stick the landing. FootsXColes must have taken her advice or had that musical know-how  already with them to be intentional about the second track because OOOOOOOUUUUUUU-WEEEEEE does it slap something crazy! 
Somewhere in heaven, the likes of Prince, Michael Jackson, or any groovy Black musician within the pearly gates are smiling at how FootsXColes continue the canon of good ol’ Black feel-good jams. FootsXColes unknowingly deliver the breath of fresh air that the streets (re: the modern music industry) needs with “Hills”. Worthy of being a single, the verses and choruses of “Hills” sound conversational and healing towards the recipient.

Does it matter anyway? Cause your mind is not the same/Always on the day to day, cause your mind just needs a break.

The song is an obvious message pertaining to the need for individuals to prioritize their mental health against the stresses of daily life, signified by the lyrics “Does it matter anyway? Cause your mind is not the same. Always on the day to day, cause your mind just needs a break.”

If FootsxColes took you on a ride with the last track, this track was like flying into a lush field and allowing yourself to be free for once. The lyrics:

Run for the hills while you can still, while you can still/You just need a day!

become more than just a super catchy-ass hook but an infectious message delivering a sunny Sunday morning epiphany. The cleverly placed sample capturing the magic, keeping it suspended like reaching the climax of a roller coaster, serves as a pleasant interlude into the clear bridge and revamped chorus. The seamless transition and heightening of the octave is hard to catch due to how the track keeps you hypnotized. Such excellent songwriting married with vivid sounds would make the likes of De La Soul and the entire Native Tongues collective smile from ear to ear. 

Personally, I would pay to hear this on the radio–but I’m not promoting payola by the way. 
Uh ha ha.

It was hard moving past this part of my review due to how groovy and funky the track was, making me replay it over and over again. “Hills” was the best 10-15 minutes of my day, as those around me asked why I was bopping around so hard with my headphones on.


3.) Creep:

So who’s the one you love? She’s out there.

Accompanied by a super dope music video, “Creep” is a track that displays the duo FootsXColes meshing together so well that they sound like one entity. The great melodies and easy-to-digest lyrics provide a bop for this journey towards the happy home FootsXColes are navigating you to. The immense talent I talked about before appears again through the memorable melody “So who’s the one you love? She’s out there.” 

As I was listening to this project so far, I was upset with the presence of rap elements on this project, and not just because I’m an avid Hip Hop fan. Jazz and Hip Hop’s fusion in this modern age of music goes together like chocolate and peanut butter, and honestly, the two always have even from Hip Hop’s inception and its leaning on heavy elements of jazz towards the development of Hip Hop’s most notable juggernauts.

Luckily, right on queue, FootsXColes come through with a smooth rap verse over the drum break. It’s so wonderfully constructed that it sounds conversational without compromising great rap elements. “You said I could have handled it./The Truth can be so scandalous, I ran from it./Got played in the past similar like manuscript/Utilizing notes again and put them in this song I’m in”. This isn’t the half of the sauced-up lyrical onslaught as FootsXColes end the conversational verse with the muse as the song reaches its dynamic conclusion. The references to the TLC classic of the same title is a nod to the strides of 90s culture and music.


4.) Overstay:

You overstayed your welcome, who’s to blame?

While you’re lost in the third-lightning strike hypnotism of FootsXColes song composition skills, the seamless transition leads you from “Creep” into “Overstay”. It’s extremely easy to tell that the group and their constituents thought long and hard about how to harness transitions within this project in a careful yet, organic fashion. Mission Complete. *Star Fox voice*. 

The lyrics and questions posed express a regretful love or situationship of some sort, bringing home (no pun intended) a cohesive message as FootsXColes talk about bringing home the muse that the lyrics are addressed to during this point of this song. The reason that A Happy Home stands out from most local and mainstream projects is in the fact of how the instrumentation is centered as the focal point of every song instead of simply being a background accompaniment. For this particular song, this instrumentation becomes the musical parallel to the Binky meme from the TV show Arthur in which he fades into the bliss of the sensual sounds he never sees coming. The whisper effect is present at the end of the track to signal romance and transition into the final track.


5.) Navigate: 

As we navigate to find our way to a Happy place, we can’t escape/Spending days and days to find our faith. It was cool.

I wish that when artists made outros nowadays, that they made the songs sound like actual outros. The outro, like the conclusion of the essay you want to get a good grade on, is supposed to successfully sum up the theme of the project, taking bits and portions from the highlights with one last resounding word. Evidently, no one has to educate FootsXColes on this concept, as the song sounds like how an outro should sound within its first few moments. The lyrics meditate on the relationship with the muse and their entire journey together both inside and outside the spaceship they took off in during the beginning of the project. “As we navigate to find our way to a Happy place, we can’t escape, spending days and days to find our faith. It was cool.” The true Rhythm and Blues also hits right in the feels with lyrics like “Maybe love is just a game for fools.” 
There were a plethora of powerful moments throughout this EP, but the guitar solo was magical and rare, capturing me quite like no other part of the EP’s instrumentation breaks. It made me feel blessed to pen this review on a peaceful Sunday afternoon. “Navigate”, even as a stand alone song, rivals Anderson .paak’s “Twilight” released earlier this year as top songs you slow-dance with your boo to in order to rekindle the love. Like a happy ending of the coolest fairy tale never before told, “Navigate” peacefully ends A Happy Home by repeating the hook with a chime fading in the background.
In addition to Jiraiya’s word at the beginning of this review about the concept of “home”, feeling at “home” gives an unparalleled feeling of peace and satisfaction away from the rest of the world. Cogently and concisely, FootsXColes accomplished this with their EP, A Happy Home.

Adding to the uniqueness of this project, this delightful project will NOT be available for streaming. Listeners will have to actually purchase the project outside of streaming and directly from the group, per the wishes of the group to make a statement.
You can follow the group on both their Twitter and Instagram accounts @FootsXColes to keep up with them and support the magic of their music.

> Maurice Valentino


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