California psych soul band Brainstory got busy during lockdown, converting their rehearsal space into a studio and jamming out the Covid classic, Ripe. Recorded during the peak of the pandemic, Ripe is fittingly a melancholy ride, seven short tracks (most less than three minutes) that trace the highs and lows of the past year in isolation. Opening track “Scissors” is a tough piece of hard funk, while “Seasons,” one of the two vocal cuts on the album, examines the tumultuous year of change and flux. Later tracks find Brainstory delving into the weirdo side of funk (“Rogers”) and traversing nostalgic, starry-eyed soul (“Bye Bye”). The whole thing has a great vibe through and through, a groovy listen from front to back that provides fans with a respite until Brainstory drop their second full-length album in 2022.

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Brainstory Ripe