There exists a perplexing tendency to romanticize the music of past generations and lament the “downfall” and gradual erosion of music over time. It is the critical equivalent of the age-old “grass is always greener” adage, a wistful longing for a return to the “golden generation” of music. The reality, however, is that music does not regress —it only progresses. Music is by its very nature dynamic, constantly transforming and adapting to explore new ideas and to revisit old ideas in innovative ways. Our culture is not a vacuum; today’s music is both an homage to and progression of that which came before it. There does not exist any “golden age” of music, nor of any genre; the golden age of music is the entire history and the complete body of music that has been created throughout human history.
This revelation came to me induced by a conversation with Austin’s very own Huggy & The Feel Goodz, a seven-piece soul outfit dedicating themselves to replenishing the world with much-needed good vibes through their unique brand of “New R&B.” With the release of their brand-new EP, Chapter One, the Feel Goodz expand upon the soulful standards set by genre-defining pioneers like Marvin Gaye and D’Angelo and imbue them with their own fresh attitude and desire to connect to new and modern audiences. We had the chance to ask Huggy himself and musical director Ari Burns a few questions that arose out of repeated listens to the Chapter One EP. We think that their answers will enrich your own listening experience, as they did ours; as such, this piece begins with an interview delving into the creative minds behind the EP’s concoction before we explore the music itself.