Sports' second EP, People Can't Stop Chillin, finds the band smoother than ever and nailing their late night aesthetic.
It was clear that Sports had something special when they released their debut EP, Naked All The Time, last year. The album's lead single, "You Are The Right One", was a fresh blend of cool and calculated, and just a hint of things to come from the Oklahoma three-piece. From its reverb-soaked vocals to the funk-heavy bass groove, "You Are The Right One" set the tone for Sports' unique style of smooth pop.
Naked All The Time displayed a range of emotions, but it was the downtempo tracks that really stuck with us.
And it's really not surpring that Sports does downtempo, R&B-leaning tracks so well when you consider some of their unique influences. A look at their Spotify profile will show you a playlist with new and old classics, favoring soul and funk cuts like "Hearsay" by Alexander O'Neal.
It's a style of cool romanticism (think Hall & Oates) that Sports nails on People Can't Stop Chillin. "Drivin' On By You" and "Whatever You Want" are slick anthems for lovers that can keep you cruising down the highway, even once you've run out of gas. When Sports refers to themselves as pop wizards, it's songs like these that back up the hype. Their use of the wah pedal on the latter could bring a smile to Bootsy Collins' face. Combine that funky effect with their breathy vocals, and Sports is downright seductive on "Whatever You Want". We just hope they do the song justice and give it a video as flashy as "Manicure"'s.
People Can't Stop Chillin also has a few surprises byway of instrumentals. "Takin' a Cruise" is more mysterious and ambient while the title track, which closes out the album, feels like a front-row seat in Sports' living room. You can picture yourself at the feet of a piano as they play a sentimental solo with faint harmonies to close it out, just in case you didn't know how much they already love you. Ending on a more serious note is a classy move, and one that makes sense for a band that's looking to grow and share their vibes with the world. If they can keep up the pace of this EP, it probably won't be long before Sports is romancing larger crowds of adoring fans. Festivals? Probably. Touring overseas? Yep. Sports, just one favor: come to Salt Lake City when you get the chance.