Anti Atlas Future Nostalgia

Here is a fine album of down-tempo, jazzy pop from the UK duo of Ned Bigham and classically-trained vocalist Ely Gregory. Thanks to the expert production talents of Chris Hufford and Robin Millar, Future Nostalgia has a sleek, smoky sound destined for cocktail parties and candle-lit lounges. Credit can definitely go to Gregory and her sultry voice for making this album work as something more than just another chill-out disc. Late-era Cocteau Twins set against a backdrop rooted in Massive Attack and the Cinematic Orchestra is a good approximation of the Anti Atlas sound, which remains interesting yet has the potential to be widely accessible. It doesn’t hurt that the mood of the music is far more upbeat than others that occupy this particular sonic landscape. Rather than create dark, murky beats and sounds, here we have flutes and strings that soar. That said, the conventional sound of the album does cause it to drift into the background, especially since the tempo is fairly consistent throughout. Nonetheless, there is some pretty stuff on this debut disc, and while it is won’t exactly challenge your ears, it certainly does soothe them. (Nagashi)