Fool’s Gold Releases ‘Flying Lessons’
By Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Do you ever wonder why words like ‘ebullient’ or ‘mellifluous’ were coined? I’m certain they were created for the purpose of describing music like Fool’s Gold (no, Google, NOT the romantic comedy starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey). A truly unique world-pop outfit from LA that spins sonic brilliance from beyond borders, Fool’s Gold is a now permanent five piece (Luke Top, Lewis Pesacov, Garrett Ray, Brad Caulkins, and Salvador Placencia) that has seen a myriad of members (up to 15 at one point) come and go since it began as a small project between Israeli natives Top (vocalist and bassist) and Pesacov (lead guitarist). Using a sparkling sensibility that is completely their own, Fool’s Gold (NO Google – not the One Direction song) weave African rhythms, Western pop values and Middle Eastern influence, utilizing bilingual vocals in alternating Hebrew and English. Now, before your mind goes straight to that old Music Choice ‘World Music’ satellite channel that sounded like a suburban mom’s mixtape from ’92, Fool’s Gold is light-years away from your typical ‘fusion’ outfit. Pulling elements anywhere from mid-century Congolese Soukous to Nigerian Disco and Calypso, and with a knack for utilizing the best of these influences, Fool’s Gold crafts a sublimely honeyed and unapologetic shimmery sound that still maintains depth and technical prowess. A sonic medley fleshed out with the use handmade and scavenged percussion instruments, a mighty fun sax section, chant-y choruses and flashes of soul and motown. How could you go wrong?
Flying Lessons is a more streamlined but not sacrificial step forward for Fool’s Gold. When they debuted with a self-titled and self produced album in 2009 via IAMSOUND (on which the first track ‘Surprise Hotel’ had me so enamored I downloaded it as a ringtone, and I am not the ringtone downloading type), the album was mainly penned in Hebrew. As time as passed, primary vocalist and lyricist Luke Top began to express himself in English, a natural movement resulting from finding firm footing with the debut and solidifying it with sophomore album Leave No Trace (2011), an intuitive choice that gets a nod from Flying Lessons closing track “Ta’alumah”.
The first single ‘I’m in Love’ is an immediately joyous return to form, perfectly positioned to showcase Flying Lessons as an experienced but still organic addition to the Fool’s Gold catalog. ‘Lady of the Lake’ (my personal favorite) feels like a closer, it’s so succinct a synopsis of feeling, but comes in second – the type of track that somehow makes you reflect on past experience while instilling present hope without the mess of being overly saccharine. ‘Wildflower’ is cheeky, waltz-y and perfect for that midday hour that feels like an eternity in the best way. An overall solid effort by musicians who give a glittering global experience, Flying Lessons is guaranteed to make you ramble and dance, and may just solve any wanderlust woes.
You can order Flying Lessons from iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/flying-lessons/id981602550