Chill-out albums have become about as commonplace in boutiques as contemporary furniture. And, like the furniture and boutique fashions, among chill-out artists are many inflated designer imposters. The most eloquently composed escapist downtempo, however, should be able to transport you to serene worlds of orchestrated opulence without the need to purchase a $2,500 chaise lounge, and Blue States' ability to do so makes their debut, Nothing Changes Under the Sun, a refreshing change from the commonplace.
An artist on Thievery Corporation's Eighteenth Street Lounge label -- one of the finest stables of jazzy midtempo exploration -- Blue States uses meticulously sequenced samples to bridge the dusky, dusty world of DJ Shadow/Portishead-style percussion and the sunny sweep of John Barry's jetset pop. The way the bass cushions gentle acoustics and the layers of organ intone draw immediate comparisons to Air's Moon Safari, but Nothing Changes Under the Sun has its own unique air about it. Save the money on the chaise lounge -- hell, save an equal amount on a Mediterranean vacation -- just find a quiet corner, slip on Blue States and get away.
Blue States play as a live band at Trinity Thurs., March 7.
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