We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again; the retro-soul renaissance of the last 10-15 years has been one of the most refreshing trends to break into the mainstream. And it’s been especially intriguing to hear countries outside of the U.S. tackle that classic Motown/Stax sound with their own takes on those brassy, upbeat, vocal-driven formulas.
And of those who’ve represented Western Europe, few have done it quite as long as Amsterdam’s The Tibbs. Starting off with their cover-stuffed 2014 LP Cleaned Out, this septet’s spent the past decade-plus scoring millions of streams thanks to a tenacious work ethic and unwavering dedication to the iconic ’60s-’70s aesthetic, even down to their album artwork. In terms of American soul interpolations, The Tibbs don’t just make a pastiche of the classics; they mix in a timeless potpourri of garage grit, sophisticated jazz-funk, mid-century pop, and even a little bit of blues and ska to boot.
Well, with a respectable amount of records already under their belt, last Friday The Tibbs announced their third full-length, Keep It To Yourself, set for release late next month. At a dozen tunes, Keep It To Yourself is expected to at least go toe-to-toe with Fall 2020’s Another Shot Fired. Yet with that extra element of post-COVID compassion, and the invaluable few additional years of experience, Keep It To Yourself may turn out to be The Tibbs finest work to date. And based on the LP’s lead single, which came last Friday alongside the release announcement, we’re willing to take that bet straight to the bank. Because between the transparency of its music video (which shows off the seven-piece’s live chops), some unforgettably in-the-pocket horn lines, an undying rhythm section that effortlessly support keys and guitar, and of course Roxanne Hartog’s soon-to-be-iconic pipes, “Ain’t It Funny” can only make us laugh in terms of how friggin’ good it is.