Back in January, Willis Earl Beal pulled a Beyonce/Four Tet/Wolfmother and unexpectedly released a new album entitled A Place That Doesn’t Exist. Today, the sorcerer-bluesman continues his streak of unpredictability by releasing yet another surprise album, entitled Curious Cool.
Spanning eight tracks, the album sees Beal continuing the transition away from his bizarro brand of lo-fi that began with last year’s Nobody knows. While “Like A Box II” is one of the more grimy examples of Beal’s gritty and experimental blues-rock, Cool Curious is dominated by tracks like that emphasize purer sentimentality. There’s the sweet and methodical “By The Lake”, the slightly whimsical, slightly off-kilter “Why”, and the doubly sensual “Coriander Tree Life”, all of which demonstrate more of a soul and R&B influence than ever before. He might be working with the same set of tools, but his intentions and moods are evolving and expanding into new realms.
Listen in below (via Pigeons and Planes):
With A Place That Doesn’t Exist, Beal released the album as a “peace offering of sorts” for some missed tour dates. Still, there may be another reason for the abrupt, unplanned releases: as he told the Guardian back in February, he’s at odds with his label. “XL wants me to do things their way, which is understandable,” he added. “But I’m a former street musician and I’m used to doing things differently.”