This Buzz For You: The Right Now

Treat your ears to a new kind of old sound courtesy of Chicago-based soul band The Right Now. The septet--Stefanie Berecz (vocals), Brendan O'Connell (keys), Chris Corsale (guitar), Greg Nergaard (bass), John Smillie (drums), Jonathon Edwards (bari sax), and Jim Schram (tenor sax)--is currently touring in support of their sophomore release Gets Over You. I caught up with The Right Now in Philadelphia--a city that knows something about soul, as home to Patti LaBelle, The O'Jays, The Delfonics, and Teddy Pendergrass, among others.

Gets Over You tells various stories about either empowerment or regret: every track has either a cheating lover or a lover who has had enough. As a whole, the album resonates the rich sound of a band quite comfortable playing together, and one that has taken the time to hone their sound as a unit. Gets Over You was recorded in only a week-long session; it's polished from careful study of collective talents, not over-producing. You can't talk about how good the horns are in the opening track, "I Can't Speak For You," without talking about Smillie's excellent drumline throughout the song, and you can't talk about how the instrumental slow burn at the beginning of "Higher" leads to a compelling vocal performance not just by Berecz, but also the harmony vocals O'Connell and Corsale provide. "Good Man" is reminiscent of an Otis Redding-style sound, but one the band makes their own and is among the stand-out tracks on the album.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention two big reasons to see The Right Now live: first, the absolute gem of a voice in lead singer Stefanie Berecz. She can belt out a song as good (and as strong) as Joss Stone or Adele and Gets Over You takes full advantage of her vocal strength. The band's live performance gives more of an opportunity for Berecz to demonstrate her vocal range in addition to its power, especially when they go back to songs like "You Will Know," from their first album, Carry Me Home. And second, the band as a whole re-energizes soul music as much as it gives you the feeling of stepping into a throwback--or, as I commented to a friend of mine, "It's like we're in a musical version of Mad Men. It's glorious." The Right Now will leave you just as addicted.

Gets Over You is available via The Right Now's online shop, iTunes, and will be forthcoming via Amazon UK April 30th.

For tour information (so far, limited to U.S. dates, sorry my Aussies and U.K.ers), check out The Right Now's tour page: http://therightnow.com/tour/

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