Friday, March 13, 2020

‘Hoa Am Xu’a’ by Saigon Soul Revival

13 March 2020

I’m really enjoying the debut album by Saigon Soul Revival – a Vietnamese band that celebrates the bolero scene in South Vietnam in the 1960s and 70s. ‘Hoa Am Xu’a’ is a mixture of covers of classic songs and new tracks in this vintage style. It’s funky rock that sounds both strangely familiar and refreshingly different – the same 'parallel universe syndrome' that I associated with 'the very best of éthiopiques' (Francis Falceto’s wonderful collection of Ethiopian popular music from the 1960s and 70s, reviewed here in 2007). There’s a distinct psychedelic retro feel to the songs but the addition of a young rapper on one of the tracks makes it seem surprisingly modern.

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