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7″ review: The Putbacks ft Nai Palm – Spanish Harlem / The Worm

HS012 Pack Shot

March 10 marked the release of The Putbacks‘ new 7″, ‘Spanish Harlem‘, which features Melbourne’s hottest neo-soul voice NaiPalm. You may know her as the Headchief of future soul band Hiatus Kaiyote, but in this Hope Street Recordings release we see a different side of the talented vocalist.

This soulful, blues-ridden track is combined with the instrumental-only B-side ‘The Worm‘, which showcases the raw talent and unbridled rhythmic intensity that is the Putbacks.

‘Spanish Harlem’ is an upbeat, joyful cover of the Leiber and Spector song first released by Ben E King in 1960 (but you probably remember the 1971 rocking Aretha version that catapulted the song into the chart stratosphere), and in this Putbacks/Nai Palm recreation the vibe is chilled out to a sunday afternoon.

Also noticeably absent in this reinvigorated, freshly pressed version is the cheesy alto saxophone solo from the Ben E King version, which is definitely an added bonus.

The slightly more funk-oriented ‘The Worm’ is a salute to the 1970s, with screaming Hammond organs, garage-tinged drums and relentless pentatonic polyphony. The climatic highlight of the record is upon you now – if you aren’t getting down and groovy by this point in the record you’re clearly subject to severe emotional capacity deficits.

And as if that isn’t enough funk for your buck, the good folks at Hope Street Recordings have included a bonus track on the digital release of Spanish Harlem/The Worm entitled ‘In The Dirt‘.

The production on this record is in classic Hope Street Recordings style, with the listener getting the feeling that the entire 7″ has been soaked in a tub of hazy, summery 1960s-70s nostalgia.

This beautiful partnership between Nai Palm and The Putbacks is reminiscent of a funkier, more soulful lovechild of Hendrix and The Upsetters (Little Richard‘s group, not the reggae band).

Get your copy of the 7″ (plus a free download of all the tracks + bonus track ‘In The Dirt’) HERE!!! Do your bit to support and sustain the wonderful work of these artists and independent labels.

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