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Avantdale Bowling Club - Self Titled

Avantdale Bowling Club is a New Zealand based jazz hip-hop music group that has released their debut album last year and with that record have shown a lot of skill, musicianship and joined the group of artists that I am going to eagerly support and praise. This album came out without me hearing about any of the bands members before but they hit a certain niche of jazz infused rap that I absolutely love, Tom Scott's dense and emotional lyrics speak to me on many levels and I appreciate how personal it gets.

The record kicks off with my personal favourite of entire LP, an absolute highlight - "Years Gone By". It is sort of a rewind of the artists life, a look into past that also seems to be a prevailing theme in the album. Tom mentions pleasant things that belong to being a child like playing video games - Mario or Ocarina of Time, but over time a lot of troubling events happen. He notices his father being abusive towards family members and eventually ending up in jail and his best friend committing suicide after being caught up in drugs. A lot of events or years are limited to a single year, could be an attempt to show how fast time passes and maybe how suddenly he ended up in a spot he is in now. Even though majority of the verses talk about hardships of life this first song ends up on a positive note - mention of Quincy, the rapper's son. It seems like his child is the center of his life, a being he loves the most, something that is further amplified on "Quincy's March". The boy made artist get rid of his own ego, past ambitions and just made him focus on being the best dad possible while trying to not repeat mistakes of his parents but also appreciating what good they have done for him.

Another song I really enjoy is "F(r)iends", an ode to rapper's friends who ended up being drug addicts with a special recognition of earlier mentioned man who committed suicide. By no means does he try to demonize those substance abusers, in fact, it is completely opposite, those people need help and emotional support and he very much realizes that by making the song "This go out to you, This for my homie, my brother", while not addressing a particular person he just means it as every person with those kind of troubles. This song also is a time of reflection, being surrounded by drug users - his parents and his friends made him sick of narcotics, it is time to grow up and focus on his child that is to be born in 2 months.

What is worth mentioning, outside of amazing, moving and sentimental lyrics are gorgeous instrumentals put in the album. It is somewhat often for "jazz-rap" to have barely samples of jazz music while this record really embraces this music, it is beautiful and fits the verses incredibly well. The rapping abilities and style are crisp, quick, enjoyable and most importantly - fabulously original.

"Home" is a song that a lot of people who left their hometowns could relate to. First verse is a reflection on feelings of coming back to your local community, meeting back with your relatives and enjoying the time of reunion. But eventually the protagonist notices that his relations with people in the town are not the same as they used to. Friends do not appreciate him moving out and leaving Melbourne behind. A simple, yet effective line "It's just some strangers that I used to love, There's nothing left to discuss" sums up his feelings tightly.

If you enjoy rap music and especially the one infusing jazz into its song, give this one a try, you will not regret this. Tom can perfectly convey his emotions into music and colorful and elegant jazz instrumentals totally supplements them.

SCORE: 8.5/10


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Welcome to my blog!

This is going to be a blog mostly revolving around music and news related ot it. What I really want to focus on is a weekly review of an album I have heard recently and want to share my thoughts and opinions on with you guys. What I hope to achieve is showing people some artists that are worth listening to while not being the most well-known, top of the charts musicians, or express my feelings on some LPs that I don't think are worth anyone's time.

A little bit of introduction about me: I am from Poland, born in 1997, currently studying at University in ToruĊ„. I have been listening to music since I was little but for past few years it has become a really important part of my life, every day involves listening to some tunes. I am not going to list my favourite artists or genres, I enjoy a wide variety of music spectrums and there are very few genres I generally dislike but feel free to message me about music recommendations or general questions about music I like. I will answer …