Between heat and heart – on their new album 79.5 celebrate New York club sound in all its facets

79.5 describe themselves as “the sound of New York City” – and they don’t exaggerate, especially when it comes to the sound of dark R’n’B and disco clubs in Brooklyn, where longing, ecstasy and breakdown are celebrated every night. On their now released sophomore album, the Brooklyn-based band captures all these emotional states in great songs that oscillate between 70’s underground disco, electro boogie, acid jazz and sugary sweet pop – somewhere between the cool funkiness of the Universal Togetherness Band and the catchiness of the Scissor Sisters.

The lead single “Our Hearts Didn’t Go That Way” (Feat. Durand Jones) is a good example of the band’s infectious songwriting. An 80’s saxophone shimmers through the upbeat track, while Jones and band founder Kate Mattison’s voices caress each other and carry the highes. Although the song is heartbreaking, it conveys the feeling that true love can never be broken. In contrast, the pulsating and shimmering track “Long Term Parking” sounds like a darker version of Tame Impala’s psych-funk odysseys.

Whether psychedelic organ sounds, floating disco-anthems or synth pop excursions, 79.5 create atmospheric gems that touch the listener and often encourage you to dance.

In general, the theme of love. Despite all the roughness and sexual desire (“B.D.F.Q.”), the sincere search for it resonates in many of the songs on this album. Who would want to return to the solitude of their own four walls after a debauched club night?

According to the band, the very existence of the album is a protest against the “old boy’s club” in the music industry. And a personal triumph against all odds, illuminating the most beautiful collaboration between friends. Music, then, that had to fight its way in.

The current line-up includes singer, songwriter and composer Kate Mattison, singer and rapper Lola Adanna, drummer Caito Sanchez (Charles Bradley, Lee Fields), bassist Andrew Raposo (Midnight Magic, Hess Is More) and saxophonist and flutist Izaak Mills.

Named after an imaginary radio station, 79.5 was started in 2010 by Kate Mattison. With only a self released 12” in circulation, 79.5 was written up in The New Yorker twice based on the eminence of their live sets alone. In 2016, the band released the now classic 45, “Terrorize My Heart (Disco Dub)” a staple in DJ sets, getting spins from Gilles Peterson, Q-Tip, Just Blaze and Natasha Diggs. In February 2021, Questlove added the Mattison-penned track to his 100 Essential Songs You Should Know playlist, which includes legendary musicians Sade, CHIC, Patrice Rushen, and Prince.