Social Set, Celebrate (Independent)

Social Set, Celebrate, album coverCelebrate is an apt name for this self-released record from the New Orleans five piece Social Set. The five songs here include 3 upbeat tracks and 2 slower numbers. All are marked by simple, straight ahead backbeats great for dancing on the faster tunes and contemplation on the mellower numbers.[iframe class=”spotify-right” src=”” width=”300″ height=”380″ frameborder=”0″ allowtransparency=”true”] Buy on AmazonBuy on iTunesKathryn Rose Wood’s guitars play clean melodies and sparse riffs that don’t get in the way of the rest of the instruments. There are an array of Emmanuel Catanzariti’s keyboards here with a Rhodes electric piano doing most of work with touches of other electronics dotting the songs. Several tunes also feature a saxophone riffing off the vocals or adding solos that sound like late 1970s radio pop hits in the best of ways. The sound of the band mixes a neo-jazz chord sensibility and solo sense with early 1980s East Coast new wave and mid 1990s European music of the same vein. There is an element of the Sundays and Cardigans here too. What really takes this recording to another level is Wood’s vocals. She sings in a high register, giving the songs a lightness and prettiness in keeping with the overall attitude of the record. But such lightness does not keep her from digging in at times and really singing. She also swings hard, spacing out her notes and words over the arrangements like a jazz singer and adding an additional dance element to the songs. For a debut, this is a fine recording, and it makes listeners want to hear what Social Set can do over a full length set.