Ginger Beef – Ginger Beef (Album)

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To resurrect the long-extinct genre of instrumental pop, Ginger Beef fuses unlikely musical influences. As they explain, “We’re unabashedly pop, but being jazz adjacent gives us access to a much broader palette.” Acts like The Police and Steely Dan are examples of jazz-influenced artists who found mainstream success.

Jiajia Li, a flutist, and her husband MSG, a multi-instrumentalist, producer and organist for the Calgary Flames hockey team, formed the duo in 2021. When Li was asked to present a music video for a local music festival, she teamed up with MSG to create the soundtrack. The crowd loved it and demanded more. Ginger Beef was born.

The duo wastes no time showing their retro flair and technical chops on the opening track, Flashback. Driven by an energetic drum and layered with anachronistic synths and flute, it’s a trip back in time.

Dew follows, a glossy tune full of breezy, positive vibes. The whimsical Takeout provides traditional Chinese instrumentation and electronics. It conjures images of mythological creatures. Hocus Pocus features funky bass. True to its name, the song casts a spell, making it impossible to stay still. Golden Hour has a more mellow sound. Hedgehog is notable for having  strong percussion. Kam and and No Strings Attached close out the album in style, giving you a feeling of being somewhere else.

At the end of the day, Ginger Beef have accomplished what they set out to do. The tracks on this album are phenomenal. Those looking for something innovative yet accessible, uplifting yet complex, should give Ginger Beef’s debut album a chance.

Check it out below!

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