Downtown Castles Can Never Block the Sun

Downtown Castles Can Never Block the Sun by Ben LaMar Gay.
Bandcamp Link: Downtown Castles Can Never Block the Sun

I mentioned I had seen Jaimie Branch in duo with Ben LaMar Gay last year. They played some pretty out there stuff, mostly synth and processed horns.

So, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Mr LaMar Gay’s solo album.

Even not knowing what to expect, I was surprised.

It’s sort of an esoteric pop record with elements from, well, everywhere. Some Jazz, some Electronic, some Bowie, some Funk.

To a certain extent the record it reminds me most of is Bowie’s Low. Well, if Bowie were a deep voiced African-American man. There’s a feel of eclectic experimentation which seems similar to what Bowie and Eno were trying to accomplish, especially on Low and Heroes.

The album feels like something that LaMar Gay has been working on as a passion project in his spare time for a long time, piecing it together track by track in his garage.

It’s funny, moving, and, despite occasional dissonance, pretty easy to listen to. After listening through the first time, I immediately restarted it at the beginning to give it a second chance to sink in. It’s that kind of record.

I recently noticed this Beach Sage (Salvia africana-lutea) bush on the VA campus. It’s a pretty unassuming Salvia until it starts flowering, and then these incredibly bizarre looking long nosed brown flowers pop out.

#BenLaMarGay #DowntownCastlesCanNeverBlocktheSun #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #Salviaafricanalutea