By Matt Wickstrom
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Joslyn & The Sweet Compression have dropped a colorful and animated music video for their neo-soul backed tune “What Did You Think Was Gonna Happen” at Billboard ahead of releasing their debut, self-titled EP on May 17.
Alongside a stellar band of musicians, including step-father and accomplished player Marty Charters, whose resume includes work with H-Bomb Ferguson and Junior Wells, Hampton conjures a mixture of Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, and Whitney Houston. Behind Hampton’s dynamite voice that flips between more silky-smooth R&B stylings to a more stern tone and show of strength at the drop of a dimeand Charters’ funkified guitar licks lies the sweeping keys of Steve Holloman, intricate drumming arrangements from Rashawn Flemming and deep grooves from veteran bassist Smith Donaldson along with a flourishing brass section.
Charters has a wealth of worldly experience under his belt, which further allows Hampton to take even bigger risks with her vocal tricks. Together, they are a force of nature, a balancing act trading off top-secret melodies and lyrics, and across 10 songs, pulsating and colorful, the two creative minds stitch together a truly remarkable storyboard. Recorded at Shangri La Studios, the album is taken to even more dizzying heights thanks to engineer Duane Lundy (Sturgill Simpson, Ringo Starr) and his rapt attention to detail.
The symmetry between the real-life band and their animated counterparts is astounding, with Hampton flaunting one of her signature pink dresses and Charters’ one of his old-school caps while bassist Smith Donaldson holds down the low end perched atop a stool. Further adding to the video’s immersion are the song’s lyrics, which conveniently display throughout the song as signage on storefronts as a wandering Hampton navigates the streets after dark, helping to seamlessly blend music and video together for a full circle storytelling experience.
Watch the video for “What Did You Think Was Gonna Happen” from Atlanta-based ECG Productions below.
After spending her childhood performing in choir and dabbling in orchestra, Hampton went to college to study classical music studies before dropping out soon thereafter. Shortly after she ran into an aspiring producer who she worked with before landing a gig with a cover band performing at weddings and other private events. After sticking with that act for a couple of years Hampton developed an itch to perform original songs. At the same time Charters, who had just finished a stint performing with Junior Wells, was drifting back into the local scene and looking to start an all-new project.
“I found myself on a very dead-end path,” Charters said. “I was playing with great musicians for money, but with no real goal or purpose. As I aged, I was wondering why I was even doing this anymore.”
Now aware of Hampton’s amazing talents, Charters proposed the idea of making a “funky soul record with real musicians playing real instruments, and a warm analog vibe,” he recalls. Hampton immediately agreed, and the pair set about writing songs.
Joslyn & The Sweet Compression return to Lexington to perform at Cosmic Charlie’s on July 6 with Jackson’s Short & Company, Cincinnati’s This Pine Box and Louisville’s Roadie.
Learn more about the band when Hampton and Charters join me next Monday, May 20, during episode 68 of Wick’s Picks on Lexington Community Radio.
For more information on the band visit their web site.