Since learning that Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner was a reluctant solo artist on last years' Golden Age of Apocalypse, I was expecting the next solo effort from the bass prodigy to come a few years down the line. I was wrong. Thundercat returns this June with Apocalypse, produced by Brainfeeder general Flying Lotus.
After a difficult year that included the loss of close friend and collaborator Austin Peralta, I would not have guessed a Thundercat album would sound like Apocalypse. The energy on Apocalypse makes its predecessor sound a bit meek. Thundercat is singing with more confidence, his voice has more of a presence in the mix and his personality shines through stronger than before in his lyrics and performance. Many of the songs are incredibly celebratory and the initial single, "Heartbreaks + Setbacks," was downright poppy.
With musicians of Thundercat and Lotus' pedigree, it would be inaccurate to call their first LP as a snoozer, but in the continuum they are creating the sound they presented on Golden Age was definitely in its infancy and is growing up on Apocalypse. The funk is fuller and the grooves are deeper. This is still music for music junkies, for the jazz heads and the beat aficionados, but you don't need to be any of the previous to dig it.