freddy reynolds oct 2021

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Reviewed by Sam Smith

Souldrop: Gypsy Lizard King EP

Reviewed by Sam Smith

Souldrop: Gypsy Lizard King EP

First coming to widespread attention as school-aged, punky rock Christchurch four-piece back in 2016, Souldrop has returned after a few quiet years with an EP of indie rock-infused soul and funk, a fusion style that sounds equally good on cold winter days as it does in summer.

Still made up of Anna Bennetto on vocals, Finn Perring on bass, Elliot Millar drumming and Fin Gilzean on guitar, Souldrop’s sound is a fusion of indie rock, soul, RnB, funk and even psychedelia, their music showing similarities to the likes of Australia’s Ocean Alley and NZ’s very own Park Rd and Masaya. Now Wellington-based, their new ‘Gypsy Lizard King’ EP continues from where the band left off on 2017’s ‘Hazy Days’, with their marriage between gentle indie rock and the funk and soul worlds working a treat across the five tracks.

The EP launches with Trip, a summery surf/soul/rock affair thanks to the jangle guitar underlay and Bennetto’s floaty vocals. Things then go up a notch tempo-wise on the sprightly second track, Jive, with Millar’s crisp drumming a standout. Title track Gypsy Lizard King is the EP’s centrepiece, embracing funk to the max with some killer Santana-esque guitar work by Gilzean and a groove-laden bass from Perring. It is then back to the chill out vibes on Cadet before the EP climaxes with Sober October, another jammy indie-soul track, a style which this unassuming band has clearly mastered.

‘Gypsy Lizard King’ emphasises the musical ability within Souldrop, showcasing a band on the come up with an exciting fusion style. Their educated marriage between indie guitar sounds and more groove-based genres, jazz, soul and funk, works perfectly on this record and results in a delightful listen.

Given that their 2017 single Out Of Mind earned them over a million plays on Spotify, one gets the impression Souldrop are ready for another lift-off with this EP. Kiwi audiences love this kind of music, and as they play more shows their fanbase will no doubt grow over the next few years.