I’m really enjoying the new album from Tikiyaki Orchestra, released earlier this month. This album is a return to form after two Tikiyaki 5-0 surf albums (which were awesome) and 2020’s Jim Bacchi solo “minus Orchestra” e.p. Sketches with Guitar and Bongos.
Tropika is sort of like a greatest hits of the Tikiyaki sound, with varied instrumentation and styles. The rock-style drums set a foundation across the record, with guitar and vibraphone taking the lead for most of the songs, perhaps most effectively with the Hawaiian swing of “A South Pacific Soujorn.” Other standout tracks include “Bombs Away!”, “The Boobam Song”, and the bouncy “Walkabout.”
For more than a decade the Tikiyaki Orchestra have the most prominent band playing exotica and tropical music, paying homage to the style’s 1950s foundations and showing that the genre is still an exciting musical form. Their energetic shows are always a hit, so be sure to seek them out if they’re appearing at club or event near you.