The power of lyrical impact can be timeless, but as great as words over melody can be, there’s a whole different appeal to sans-lyrical explorations. For example, when added onto styles like funk or soul, the genre modifier “cinematic” usually tips listeners off to a strictly instrumental experience, where the lack of lyrics not only allows extra space for meditation, but also opens up your imagination to fill in the blanks – be it with visuals, Rod Serling-esque internal monologue, or just abstract emotional reactions to exotic sounds.
A top notch purveyor of such is Austin’s Tina Piranha, whose eight-player appetite chomps out the rarest bits of ’60s soundtracks, Turkish psychedelia, Ethiopian jazz and beyond into accessible, bite-sized soul tracks. Last year Tina Piranha teamed up with Grammy winner Beto Martinez to record and mix the octet’s debut EP Komissar 13, the ultimate horn-heavy score for any wannabe jet-setting G Men with too many jazz cigarettes on hand. This year, in an effort to change up the sonic scenery, Tina Piranha’s joined forces with Quiet Company’s Matt Parmenter, who’s already ushered in four new singles within the past five months.
With that rapid of output, Tina Piranha’s definitely far from having their fill for 2023, so keep your ears peeled on your preferred streaming platform. ‘Til next month’s meal, go ahead and take “A Budding Interest in Treason”. Just don’t let your boss catch you working on your midcentury espionage spec script.