Greg Foat’s new album is a nostalgic love letter to skiing and the mountains
If you know me at all, I’m a skier. I love everything about skiing. I love the solitude of being in the mountains; I love the rush you get from going a bit off-piste and carving through fresh snow. I love the effect that snow-covered granite looking down on you can have on your soul. And who can beat that feeling of an ice cold beer slope-side after a long day of skiing. It’s great being in the mountains.
This is all to say that when I came across Greg Foat’s new collaborative album with Art Themen last month, I was first captured by the album artwork. I don’t even think I registered that this was a new album at first, much less a new album from one of my favorite new soul jazz artists. The album artwork depicts two skiers carving “S” shaped lines in tandem down a virgin slope of powder. The sun is over their shoulders on a bluebird day in what looks like the alps. The photo looks like it was taken in the 70s or 80s. And the title of the album, Off Piste, is rendered in a complimenting 60s era bubble font. It looks vintage. It looks like something good is going to be behind this record sleeve that will conjure the mountains.
The album opener is called “Fresh Snow” and the track dances like snowflakes in the gentle breeze. “La Partida” is a lovely lilting cut that sounds like the theme tune to a 60’s detective series set in a snowy Alpine town. The title track is an atmospheric saxophone and synth affair courtesy of Art Themen. The album closes with ‘Apres Ski’, a dreamy track that takes you on a journey to paradise. Every note on the album is carefully chosen to create a unique soundscape inspired by the slopes.
Simply put, this six track beauty is a piece of vinyl you should have on your shelf. Head over to Athens of the North to add Off-Piste to your collectionGreg Foat x Art Themen – Sis No Hyp Greg Foat x Art Themen – Apres Ski