Soul Cinematic Companions Surprise Chef Announce Massive National Tour
The prolific jazz-funk instrumentalists will travel to Torquay, Melbourne and Castlemaine in November.
Coburg’s cinematic soul mates Surprise Chef have announced their debut album for Big Crown Records titled education and recreation, The release is scheduled for October 14. The news came alongside their success of a new single “Money Music” and a series of Australian tour dates, which will begin in October.
Long-time festival favourites, the band will kick off their tour in Brisbane in support of Kamaal Williams, then continue to gigs in Coorabell, Noosa, Brisbane, Torquay, Melbourne, Castlemaine, Adelaide and Perth before wrapping up in Sydney. Locally, Surprise Chef will perform on stage at the Torquay Hotel in Torquay on November 4, in Melbourne on November 5 and at the Theater Royale in Castlemaine on November 18.
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New track “Money Music” is a bassline-based mid-tempo track that hooks you from the first note and carries you through all the gorgeous changes. Piano, vibraphone and guitar exchange on a tight drum track that builds up, crashes, builds up again and plays at halftime to drive it all home.
Surprise Chef’s music is based on the evocation of mood; their lively arrangements use time and space to create soundscapes that invite the listener into their world. The quintet’s distinct sound draws inspiration from ’70s film scores, the funk side of jazz and samples that form the basis of hip hop. They push the boundaries of instrumental soul and funk with their own approach honed by countless hours in the studio, studying the masters, and perhaps most importantly, the “tyranny of distance” that dictates a perspective unique to their music.
Hailing from the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia, their first two albums, All News Is Good News and Summer time amassed a die-hard fanbase and brought their sound from their home studio to every corner of the world. The band are now signed to Big Crown Records, joining a line of contemporary and classic sounds that have influenced Surprise Chef’s music since their formation in 2017.
Surprise Chef is Lachlan Stuckey on guitar, Jethro Curtin on keyboards, Carl Lindeberg on bass, Andrew Congues on drums, and Hudson Whitlock, the newest member who does everything from drumming to songwriting to producing. Their self-proclaimed “moody jazz-funk instrumental shades” have a bit of everything: hard-hitting drums, infectious keys, rhythm guitar you might hear on a Studio One record, and flute lines that might come from a session. Blue Note. But when you step back and absorb the entirety of their sound and approach, you’ll hear and see a band greater than the sum of its parts.
In many ways, Surprise Chef epitomizes the “benefits of limits” idiom. They were limited in the sense that there weren’t many people doing or talking about instrumental jazz/soul/funk in South East Australia, let alone releasing records. This allowed them to develop their sound and approach in a kind of creative isolation where a small circle of friends and like-minded musicians nurtured each other.
“Being in Australia, being so far away, we only get glimpses and glimpses of the origins of this music,” Stuckey says. “But hearing about a label like Big Crown was one of the first times we realized we could make fresh, new soul music that wasn’t super retro or just nostalgic.”
This approach is on full display throughout their new album Education & Recreation.
Tracks like ‘Velodrome’ combine big drums with a synthesizer line that has everything you’d find on an Ultimate Breaks & Beats compilation, while numbers like ‘Iconoclasts’ show off their talent for wise use of space. From the overwhelming intro of “Suburban Breeze” to the soft, floating bop of “Spring’s Theme”, Surprise Chef has weaved an album that takes you through peaks and valleys of emotion and provides a lively soundtrack that will immerse you. deeper into your imagination. There’s a beauty to the vast interpretative space of instrumental music and they’re adding a modern classic to the canon with this new album.
Turn on the drive and enjoy the ride, wherever it takes you.
surprised boss Education and leisure Australian Tour 2022
Thursday, October 27 | Princess Theater | Brisbane, QLD**
Friday October 28 | Coorabell Room | Coorabell, New South Wales
Saturday October 29 | Tomas surfboards | Noosa, Queensland
Sunday October 30 | Black Bear Pavilion | Brisbane, Queensland
Friday, November 4 | Hotel Torquay | Torquay, Victoria
Saturday November 5 | Location to be determined | Melbourne, Victoria
Friday 18 November | Royal Theater | Castlemaine, Victoria
Friday 25 November | The Estonian Hall | Adelaide, SA
Saturday 26 November | Freo.Social | Perth, Washington
Saturday December 3 | Oxford Art Factory | Sydney, New South Wales
**supporting Kamaal Williams