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Chris Root – Wind Made of Kisses (Team Love)

Chris Root-Wind Made of Kisses
13 June 2020

Those unfamiliar with NYC-based Root’s seven albums with his bossa nova/Brazilian pop bands A.M. Sixty (or AM-60) and The Mosquitos might be taken aback by his whimsical, guileless lyrics on his first solo LP. Delivered with childlike wonder in a groggy-voiced, Marlon Brando-evoking croon, his innocent and affable words almost seem ad-libbed on the spot. On the “Everything Hurts”-like “I Miss the Rain” and the similarly-titled “I Miss My Cat” (the latter accompanied by contented purring; it’s about his tabby Yashimi and ex-wife Juju Stulbach, the Brazilian singer of The Mosquitos, both left behind in Mexico after his divorce), he doesn’t elaborate much more than their simple titles suggest, while “Dude Jumped Out the Window” is about, well, a dude who jumped out of a window. And on the reggae-tinged “Ocean,” he implores us not to “fuck up it for the fish,” while on the pedal steel-flecked (by Wilco’s Nels Cline), finger-snapping “Wonder,” he imagines “what it would feel like to do yoga on the beach in a bikini.” But while his insights may not be too complicated, Root’s warmhearted, amorous compositions, sprinkled with dollops of soul/R&B/funk and island music, and enhanced by the dreamy backing vocals of New Pornographers singer/violinist Simi Stone, make Wind feel as relaxed and welcoming as a poolside tiki bar. (team-love.com, teamloverecords.bandcamp.com, chrisrootmusic.bandcamp.com)