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Black Pumas is led by the creative partnership between Grammy Award-winning guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada and songwriter Eric Burton. The latter is a relative newcomer who arrived in Austin in 2015 after busking his way across the country from Los Angeles, while Quesada has a storied reputation for playing in bands like Grupo Fantasma and Brownout. After the two connected via friends in the Austin scene, they began to collaborate on a new sound that transmutes soul into something idiosyncratically modern.
Reminiscent of Ghostface Killah and Motown in equal measure, this original sound ensured that Black Pumas' weekly residency at C-Boys quickly became "the hottest party in town" (Austin-American Statesman). Produced by Quesada in his home studio and colored by Burton's dark imagery and haunting vocals, their eponymous debut is equally as indebted to East Coast hip-hop as it is to classic funk and soul, resulting in a project that is of the moment rather than retro. From the roiling, solar eclipse-inspired noir of "Black Moon Rising" to the ponderous yet epic "Oct 33," it's stunner.