There’s a delightful lightness to Scree’s album Jasmine On A Night In July. The album carries a self-applied genre of Spiritual Lounge, and that might be the crux of what makes the album so endearing. The appliqué is quite correct, the songs filter through long-rinsed tastes of Spiritual Jazz, but lean further into the tropical, surreal, and serene world of lounge music. The tag often gets swept up with Muzac in a bout of consumer indifference, the connotations having long been associated with a kind of waiting room purgatory or vacation-adjacent sense of lost time. Here the band recast its reputation, though, refilling the lounge with shadowy notions and deeper scrapes of the soul.
Guitarist Ryan El-Solh closes the door to the old lounge, letting the notion of Exotica fade away with the last bar cigarettes, long since banned. The far away feelings abound in the band’s ambience, but with the trio’s framing, those locales shift from a plane ride away to a slip through temporal planes. The Jasmine that haunts their record pulls the listener into subconscious ideas of stasis but as guided journeys go, the album isn’t all rosy hues and painted on sunsets. The womb they’ve woven is littered with quivering clouds of serenity that can prove unstable ground. The islands in the minds of Scree are figments but the darkness, light, and lucidity they hold are real. I recommend slipping between the seams with Scree as often as possible.
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