When Atlanta, Georgia came up in music circles in the early oughts, a safe assumption would be that the subject would be hip-hop. Something dirty. Something club-ready. Probably something involving Lil Jon or Ludacris. By the time things trickled down to Hustle & Flow, many non-residents had cemented the town as a bastion of rap and little else. To those stuck with that perspective, Stokeswood and their electronic wave of pure sweetness might come as a surprise. On 2075, their sugar is good in moderation and in all likelihood will have them prepped for EDM festivals galore.
Vocalist Adam Patterson is the hypothetical iceberg tip: a cool, confident, Chris Martin type from the Southeastern US that puts comparisons to MGMT in perspective. Elsewhere, his strong lead drips over soulful harmonies from his bandmates, as on “Forget” and “Paperweight”. Throughout, Stokeswood drifts between the sexy synth dubs of Nero, as on “2075” and closer “Stop By”, and Maroon 5’s recent mega-pop turn (“Our Streets”).
Stokeswood’s lyrics can be too difficult to comprehend for their clear pop radio aspirations, but musically they’re spot on. Moreover, just crossing the 30-minute threshold, the party doesn’t last nearly long enough. But adding these songs to a larger catalog, Stokeswood and their energetic, keyboard-filled dub-pop should change a few minds about the diversity of their Atlanta home.
Essential Tracks: “2075”, “Stop By”, and “Our Streets”