Who: Black Pumas is the debut full-length release from the Austin duo of Adrian Quesada and Eric Burton who were named Best New Band at the 2019 Austin Music Awards.
Sound: Black Pumas play a smooth neo-psychedelia, retro-soul set.
TFN Final Take: Austin’s Black Pumas are another bright spot on the retro-soul scene as the duo of Adrian Quesada and Eric Burton offer up ten passionate tracks on their self-titled debut. It only takes the first two songs into the record of “Black Moon Rising” and “Colors” to realize the groups talents. The harmonizing on the chorus during “Colors” especially pulls out the groups nod to classic Motown. Elsewhere like on “Touch The Sky,” Black Pumas showcase some blues undertones mixed with oncoming jazz-based horns that gives the song some stand out qualities.
Overall, Black Pumas deliver on this record but it does stay very safe and in the mid-tempo range which I think holds it back from really breaking out. The duo clearly though is still a group to watch because there are moments here that the soul scorches out of your speakers and gives you plenty of reasons to come back for another listen. When you lock into a track like “Fire” as Black Pumas sing “Don’t be afraid to say I need you; I will understand” – the listener is quickly on the same page!
Black Pumas Website
Black Pumas Facebook
– Reviewed by Christopher Anthony