Reviews: Two New Singles from Lugnut Brand Records

As I’ve discussed before, Raza del Soul does important work, preserving the “brown-eyed soul” styles of the 1960s as represented by current-day recording artists. The label’s primary (but not exclusive) medium is the 45 r.p.m. single. A pair of recent releases continues the proud tradition.

The Heavy Sounds – “Midnight Sun” b/w “Reach Out”
This Chicago-based instro-soul outfit debuted in 2020, and now they’re back with a single featuring an A-side original with a cover of the Four Tops’ hit on the flip. Wonderfully jazzy Hammond organ figures prominently on “Midnight Sun,” with supple guitar crosstalk. The band understands the importance of the spaces between the notes, and demonstrates that. The flip finds that organ taking the role that strings occupied on the original, with a sharp and soaring lead guitar (and – proving that such a thing can exist – subtle use of wah-wah) backed by a cracking rhythm section. A full-length from The Heavy Sounds would be most welcome.

Andre Cruz & Chris Lujan – “Heart Full of Love” b/w “Of All the Hearts”
Deeply soulful falsetto lead vocals, emotion-drenched strings and a taut-n-slow arrangement are the ingredient on the A-side of the latest single form this intrepid duo. “Heart Full of Love” is quite brief – just over two minutes – but it makes its point convincingly within that time. The flip is a cover of Virginia-based funk trio The Deceptions’ 1972 single, itself an exceedingly rare platter. Keeping with the “love” theme of the sides, the single I pressed on transparent red vinyl (and as always, in limited quantities).