It’s been three years since New Orleans-based Killer Whale released their previous album, the sublime, sunbaked Casual Crush. The album garnered praise for mastermind Thomas Johnson’s keen ability to blend Southern Rock with a hint of soul, thanks in part to a mix of reverb and heavenly vocals bested only by My Morning Jacket. Tastes Like Yesterday marks their long-awaited follow-up, due June 26th on Devil In The Woods.
“I’m not a perfectionist,” admits Johnson. “Yet I do want each new record to demonstrate some progression from what came before. I don’t necessarily want it to sound radically different, and I think Tastes Like Yesterday accomplishes that. I like the idea of each album hinting at what’s coming next without really being specific about that direction.”
Tastes Like Yesterday does fit that description. Though one can hear echoes of Casual Crush in the tracks “Comfortable” and “Slip Away,” the album finds Johnson’s muse immersing him in a very seductive, mellow soul. “I’m from Louisiana and New Orleans has always been an influence on me, whether consciously or not,” Johnson says. “I’ve described my music as “Pontoon Soul” before,” he says with a laugh. Lead single “Comfortable” offers an example of this new genre; it’s swampy and murky, yet Johnson’s heavenly voice transcends, resulting in a song best described as drop-dead gorgeous.
“For Tastes Like Yesterday, I did something I’ve never really done before, and that is to relinquish control of the production. It’s a scary move, as Killer Whale has always been my production. But I really have to give credit to Grayson Converse of Spooky Mansion and my friend and longtime creative partner Scott Sibley, as they’re really what made Tastes Like Yesterday so special. Scott and Grayson really came together with a lot of the production ideas, and I think they’ve really helped enhance Killer Whale’s sound, especially in terms of the vocals.”
Indeed, Tastes Like Yesterday is a record dominated by Johnson’s singing. Whether it’s the dreamy funk of “High On Yo’ Love,” the harmonic vocalise of “Run Away From Love,” or the crooning on the breezy “Slip Away,” Johnson’s voice is smooth, slick, and seductive. “If there’s one big difference between this album and our previous releases, it’s that Scott and Grayson emphasized focusing on the vocals. Where this differs is that unlike in the past, most of the material was recorded without having first been sung live. I’m looking forward to sharing the album with the world.”
Sunny and warm, yet cool and seductive, Tastes Like Yesterday arrives June 26th, and what better timing for a record perfectly made for warm summer days and cool summer nights? Let Killer Whale be your summertime groove—you won’t be disappointed.