Floating Action, “Body Questions”
Seth Kauffman is the modern equivalent of Dick Van Dyke’s Bert character from Mary Poppins, swapping the fake cockney accent for a humble North Carolina bro drawl. He’s a one-man band, a magical jack-of-all-trades who can whisk the listener off to various worlds filled with weird African rhythms, sunny dub, jangly tremolo guitar sounds, ribbon synths, and probably even dancing cartoon penguins. Having released half a dozen pristine recordings under his Floating Action nom de plume and his own name, including the classic Desert Etiquette in 2011 (on Jim James’s Removador label), Body Questions finds Kauffman in a new home at New West Records, and an assured sense of his skills. Produced with the help of Band of Horses’ Bill Reynolds in the hidden valleys of Ojai, California, this effort raises Kauffman’s focus to new levels. You can sense the confidence on numbers like “Unrevenged” and “Taking Me A Little While,” while sunny gems like “Hide Away Too Long” and the album-ending “Fang & Furr” capture the gist of what makes Floating Action so special. It’s a jolly holiday.