Obi Best’s second release, “Sentimental Education”, is a four-song mini adventure that leads the listener through exotic but familiar territories. Themes of lust, heartache, loneliness, and social values are filtered through a lens of 21st century psychedelia.
In the opening song, “Tropical Fish,” Alex Lilly, singer and visionary behind Obi Best, describes a new kind of attraction by revamping an old metaphor. Butterflies in the stomach are replaced with a different kind of animal and juicy sounds and flowing melodies all enhance the idea of an aquatic-like crush. As the EP unfolds, landscapes become more surreal. “To Have Class” covers the most unfamiliar territory, a slightly rude and fantastical number warning the newly broke Nouveau Riche that class may soon be the new form of currency: “Money….Really? No one wants that car you just saw. The world is trading in its diamonds for that certain je ne sais quoi.”
Obi Best released their debut album “Capades” in 2009 on Social Science Recordings earning stellar reviews from Spin, NPR, Blackbook, Nylon, Flavorpill, and LA Weekly. Their music has drawn comparisons to artists as diverse as St. Vincent, XTC, Stereolab and Todd Rundgren. In the past year Obi Best has toured with the Bird and the Bee, had a song placed on Showtime series “United States of TARA” and received continued support from LA’s seminal radio station KCRW.
The members of Obi Best have also made their own independent strides this year: Keyboardist and sometimes Bassist Bram Inscore has toured with Beck and Charlotte Gainsbourg; Keyboard wiz Aaron Arntz toured with Dweezil Zappa and Nikka Costa; Bassist Wendy Wang with Priscilla Ahn; and Barbara Gruska with Jenny Lewis. Alex Lilly no longer scrapes food off plates for a living, instead performing with The Bird and the Bee, Rilo Kiley, Ry Cooder, Nick Lowe, and Sia and is the newest member of The Living Sisters.
There may be a little more rudeness, a little more muscle, on “Sentimental Education” than on Obi Best’s first CD, but the music remains within the bounds of good behavior while drawing outside the lines.