By Pat Gunther
New Orleans progressive soul collective Earphunk is slated to headline a September 5th gig at the Varsity Theatre in the wake of the release of Sweet Nasty, their third studio album. The Varsity vets have just dropped their latest effort as a Bit Torrent package, that has amassed over 400,000 downloads since its release in August.
“I think for these songs, we knew we were gonna put it all into an album and we wanted it to flow like an album where for some of the other albums, it was like we just threw tracks together. And this one we kinda wanted a flow,” guitarist Paul Provosty said. “We definitely put a lot more effort into making it sound like an album, as opposed to the other ones.”
Earphunk’s specific intention for a cohesive and fluid album creates an energetic and cavernous project that spans 1 hour and 11 minutes in length. Though not as impressive on speakers as in person, Sweet Nasty proves to be Earphunk’s most far reaching and impressive effort to date.
Guitarist Mark Hempe plays a large role in the expanse of Earphunk’s sound, and proves to be a talented soloist that helps create some of the most interesting moments on the record. “One of my favorites is the talk box track ‘Phine’, cause production wise it just turned out way better than I expected it to,” he said. “Everybody involved just really crushed it and ended up making it something I couldn’t even imagine it sounding like. It ended up being sweet and nasty.”
The collective Earphunk effort makes some tracks on this album really shine, while each track is laced with potential for a blistering guitar solo or a groovy instrumental breakdown akin to the soul music of yesteryear. Baton Rouge, a former home base for several of the band’s members, should be enthusiastic about the performance Earphunk is prepared to give prior to LSU’s first home football game.
“In Baton Rouge, people are more organized with the music scene,” Hempe stated. “They’re more used to getting tickets to shows, and it’s not really the same as NOLA where there’s stuff going on every single night you know, everybody kinda gathers around a big show at the Varsity. It’s a great college town and when people catch the buzz of something, word spreads pretty quickly there.”
Earphunk’s tunes in general are something buzz worthy, and fans of the group can be sure there will be a killer performance on deck with the opener Stone Rabbits. When asked how to describe one of their shows in a single sentence, Hempe offered this reference: “If you’ve ever seen that one scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, you know they open up the thing and everyone’s faces started melting off, it’s kinda like that.”
Whether you’re familiar with the local acts or not, on September 5th, the Varsity Theatre is in for a great atmosphere filled with an enjoyable night of Louisiana music. “Getting to mess with Alex Bowen is the most fun part of playing the Varsity,” Hempe joked before adding, “It’s good to see the staff and bartenders and our manager, it’s almost like a family event over there when we do a show. A bunch of us went to LSU and it’s good to go back there and do a show. We always have a lot of fun with that.”
Though Earphunk will surely have fun with their return to Baton Rouge, Varsity concertgoers will definitely be in on it. Provosty stated through an audio recording on their tour bus, “They should expect a high energy funksplosional experience. Wear proper attire for that.”
Friday, September 5th
With Special Guest STONE RABBITS
Doors open at 8PM
Tickets are $15 for Advance and $18 for Day of Show
Must be 18 or older with Proper ID