Alan Wilkis

Connoisseurs know that the best stuff is often grown at home. Connoisseurs also know that a lot of bad stuff is grown at home too, and the challenge is finding that bag of magic and avoiding all those bags of pencil shavings. I'm happy to report that Babies Dream Big, the solo debut from Crooklyn artist Alan Wilkis is one of those rare finds that falls squarely in the former category. Imagine walking down the street and finding a crate of rare 70s funk vinyl next to a box of choice 80s electro New Wave cassettes. You give these gems to a Jeff Lynne-ish super-producer, and the resulting musical cocktail might start to explain what Wilkis is up to here. Impressively written, recorded, produced, and (mostly) performed by the man himself, the disc is full of tight, clean grooves like "I'm Famous" and "It's Been Great" that sound refreshingly unlike most current music, while still emitting a comforting, nonspecific familiarity. Never at a loss for finding hip records, the BBC have given Wilkis' "Milk & Cookies" some spins via the Neon Coyote Summer Mix. Uncharacteristic of the rest of the album, the track I keep coming back to is the disc's closer "Astronaut," a lovely slice of summer dream pop that would be at home on a mix tape with The Flaming Lips or Band of Bees. Whatever your flavor, Wilkis cooks it up correct, and I'd advise hopping on here, at the beginning of the ride. You can find Babies Dream Big at cdbaby or Itunes.

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