Track of the Day: The Putbacks feat. Bilal “The Ways” (2018)

Ahead of the release of their debut album next month, Melbourne’s The Putbacks have dropped the record’s first single, a twisted, eclectic and wonderful odd collaboration with Bilal called “The Ways”.

Since their formation in the early 2000’s The Putbacks have established themselves as one of Australia’s premiere funk ensembles; they’ve served as the house band for their label Hope Street Recordings, released a number of instrumental 7” and opened for the likes of The Menahan Street Band, Charles Bradley and Booker T Jones.

The band are a bit of a melting pot of diverse and eclectic inspirations; from those great house bands of the 60’s and 70’s soul studios – The Meters and The MGs, to film composers such as David Axelrod and Lalo Schifrin, not to mention contemporary groups like El Michels Affair and Khruangbin.

On “The Ways” they’ve teamed up with neo-soul legend Bilal, who contributes some delightfully weird and wonderful stream of consciousness lyrics. Produced by Paul Bender (Hiatius Kaiyote), the track is a dark and moody slice of the band’s brand of post-soul post-jazz. With its screaming guitar, and those husky barely intelligible vocals, “The Ways” serves up some serious vibes. It’s all very spooky, abstract and strange, so basically the perfect way to kick off the month of halloween, I mean just look at the track’s accompanying music video. “The Ways” is my first taste of the band, and I for one can’t wait to hear more.

“The Ways” is taken from the band’s self-titled debut LP which is set for release on November 9th, you can pre-order the album HERE. Whilst you’re here, chuck the band a like on Facebook to keep up to date with their future plans.

Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.