Brad Stank delivers jazz inspired debut album ‘Kinky Om’ [@Brad_Stank]

Kinky Om is the latest outing from the eclectic Brad Stank who is paving his own way in the UK’s musical landscape.

Kinky Om is, well it’s difficult to really explain what it fully is, but it is a clear deep dive into the mind of Brad Stank. Sonically Jazz is the genre that feels like the most consistent undercurrent of the project but there are so many other sprinkles of musical influence than just Jazz at play. Funk, R&B, Indie-Rock, and more make brief flickers across the project that is meant to be a hit of what Brad calls ‘Sexistentialism’. I think it would be best to have Brad‘s own words do any more description at this point.

“‘Kinky Om’ is a big hit of Sexistentialism! I’m striving to attain this idea of half-sexy, half-spiritual. The title came to me one day and stuck! I’m super into Eastern religion, so of course the ‘Om’ comes from there. It has quite a few meanings depending on what you read, but I’m using it here to mean the ‘sound of the entire universe’, one of the Hindu meanings. The ‘kinky’ came from my persistent desire to attain this sort of half-spiritual, half-sexy vibe that runs throughout all my music. I’m sure a Hindu yogi would say there’s no place for sex if you’re trying to reach God, but I’m running with it and making the idea as beautiful as I can.”

But beneath the bravado of the explanation is a project that reflects a surprising influence – loss. Brad experienced a number of unexpected deaths in his life in 2019 with two of the most hard hitting being Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading. The two were Brad‘s former bandmates, and had later gone onto form the band Her’s but tragically passed away in a car accident whilst on tour in America. Amidst the loss and struggling to find his way Brad found some semblance of normality through music and creating, as well as a period of isolation and meditation.

On Kinky Om you can hear darker notes that were inspired by his experiences with loss which adds a sort of melancholic feel to certain records like ‘I Had…’. But that doesn’t make for an album that completely drags you into a place of melancholy, rather these notes counterbalance the much more jovial and luxurious numbers. This contrast of sounds and messages make the projects 33 minute run time feel longer but in the best way. As we go on the journey Brad wants us to experience alongside him, Kinky Om‘s ethereal soundscapes lull you into their embrace.

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I’ve tried to do Kinky Om justice, but to truly understand it you’re going to have to sit with it yourself. Luckily it’s an incredibly relaxing body of work with incredible production throughout that any music fan can appreciate. It’s nice to be able to say that Brad Stank as well as producer Saam Jafarzadeh, who had worked on Her’s two records, could come together and have a “cathartic experience” . But more than that they created a great album that feels both nostalgic and new at the same time.

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