I admit it…I never heard of Black Pumas until last week when their self-titled debut “Black Pumas” came out, but evidently, they are a big deal in Austin, TX, a place known as a proving ground for indie artists. If you can make it there, it seems like you can make it anywhere, and they did just that by winning “Best New Band” at the 2019 Austin Music Awards. Their project is a funky journey that sounds retro but doesn’t come across as a simple replication of an old soul album. Favorite Song: Colors (TIDAL Streams Below)
Black Pumas is led by the creative partnership between Grammy Award-winning guitarist / producer Adrian Quesada and 27-year-old songwriter Eric Burton. Burton is a relative newcomer who arrived in Austin in 2015 after busking his way across the country from Los Angeles, while Quesada has a storied reputation for playing in bands like Grupo Fantasma and Brownout while also producing acclaimed projects like 2018’s ‘Look At My Soul: The Latin Shade Of Texas Soul.’
After the two connected via friends in the Austin scene, they began to collaborate on a new sound that transmutes soul into something idiosyncratically modern. Reminiscent of Ghostface Killah and Motown in equal measure, this original sound ensured that Black Pumas’ weekly residency at C-Boys quickly became “the hottest party in town” (Austin-American Statesman).