Royal & Toulouse – Southern Circus (Independent)
Originally formed in 2006 as a three-piece around vocalist / lyricist Milyn Satterfield, they’ve now expanded to a fourteen-piece band with a woodwind and brass section, keys, strings and turntables. That’s evolution at double speed. They hail from Birmingham, Alabama, and their Southern roots are reflected in the chilled, lazy grooves in which they frame Satterfield’s words and distinctive sound. Influenced by hip hop, blues, Southern rock and San Francisco psychedelia, Satterfield’s an original voice, and her band, a loose-limbed organism, move and shape themselves to suit.
Perhaps they’re just part of a wave of Alabama bands, but I’ve not heard anything quite like them. Their mix of big band aesthetics and a languid, toasted vibe is seriously appealing, and the standout tracks “Bohemian Heartache”, “Carnies’ Southern Delight”, “Triflin’ Ass Fools”, etc. manage to find a link between the boho smarts of Rickie Lee Jones and old-school Southern rap crews like Arrested Development. They’re quite a proposition, and if any of the above sounds interesting, I can only recommend that you check out “Southern Circus” at your earliest convenience. You wont be sorry.