Tuesday's earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, was another tragic example of what can happen when earthly forces and human populations intersect with random chance. Scores were killed and many more remain missing. And yet, even in the midst of Christchurch's sadness and suffering, some positives can be found. Hundreds of aid workers and eventually millions of dollars will flow to the area to help those in need and assist with rebuilding. On a personal level, it's how I found out about Mount Pleasant's music.
Curious about Christchurch, I went to bandcamp and browsed the most recent music tagged with "Christchurch." I was impressed by a lot of what I heard, but I was most struck by Mount Pleasant, a self-described glamour/pop artist who has been blogged about by all the usual suspects but who I somehow missed until now. I came to learn that main contributor Jonathan Phillips' family home was severely damaged by the quake. You can see photos and read his harrowing account at Mount Pleasant's blog. If you're able, heed Phillips' call and donate to New Zealand's Red Cross here.
We can be thankful, though, that Phillips and his family survived and that we have a new Mount Pleasant album upon us. "II Tough II Dance," "Safer" and "Florida" are chilled-out disco/funk/house tracks from upcoming album The Aztecs, due for release on March 16 via bandcamp. By the looks of it, The Aztecs also features one Joanna De Vocht on production and vocals; her chanteuse lends an even smoother vibe to Phillips' already velvety tracks. On these songs, Phillips and De Vocht manage to take the best of 70s disco and funk and combine it with 80s New Wave to make something that sounds familiar and fresh at the same time. Listen to three Aztecs songs below, buy them at Mount Pleasant's bandcamp and keep your mouse clicked there for the full album on March 16.