Brainstory – Peach Optimo

22nd March 2024 · Funk, Jazz, Music

Here’s a slice of smooth summery jazz-funk from Southern California’s so-called Inland Empire – the area south-east of LA that includes Palm Springs and San Bernadino.

It’s a bouncing, G-Funk-flavoured, jazz-influenced ode to growing up there, with lead singer Kevin Martin painting a picture of a typical day in Brainstory’s childhood.

That would have involved hanging out with friends in someone’s garage, smoking weed rolled in Peach Optimos (a type of cigar) and making music and art.

Growing up in SoCal sounds rather more fun than my own teenage years at a boarding school in England, listening to Radio Luxembourg on a transistor radio under my pillow.

Rather more prosaically, I can imagine enjoying this jam while sitting in the garden with a glass of wine on a sultry summer evening in North-east London.

The group was formed by brothers Kevin and Tony Martin, whose style developed through a combination of frequent visits to a gospel church and their grandfather’s collection of vintage jazz and soul records.

After college the duo reconvened in LA in 2012 and formed a conventional jazz trio with drummer Eric Hagstrom, slowly incorporating elements of psychedelia and soul – and coining the band name Brainstory.

Debut album Buck came out in 2019 and this tune comes from their forthcoming new album Sounds Good.