IV (Innovative Leisure)


Released July, 2016

DownBeat Four-and-a-Half-Star Review






BADBADBADNOTGOOD is the talented young quartet of Matthew Tavares on keys, Chester Hansen on bass, Alex Sowinski on drums & Leland Whitty on saxophone. They formed and became inseparable friends at Humber College’s Music Performance program in 2011 and have been on a critically acclaimed, rule bending musical journey ever since. BBNG took the music world by storm with their 2014 LP, III, a brash yet refined record of angular jazz improvisations, lush ballads, kraut rock, & futuristic hip-hop tinged rhythms which led to a couple years of touring the world & collaborating with some of the best and brightest artists around the globe
The boys are back with the new album IV, their most impressive and highly anticipated project yet. IV continues their forward thinking progression, sounding something like a jam session in space between Can, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters, Weather Report, Arthur Russell & MF DOOM.
With tracks like “Time Moves Slow” featuring haunting vocals from Sam Herring of Future Islands, the syncopated groove of “Lavender,” a collaboration with Montreal based producer Kaytranada, the rumbling fusion build of “Confessions Pt. II” featuring Colin Stetson on the bass sax, “Love” which is highlighted with smokey left field raps from Mick Jenkins & the epic chords of “Speaking Gently,” IV is an exploration in post-genre virtuosity. Out Summer 2016 on Innovative Leisure Records, BBNG prove yet again that the possibilities & discovery in their musical quest are infinite. 

Track Listing:

1. And That, Too. (BadBadNotGood) 04:31

2. Speaking Gently (BadBadNotGood) 04:07

3. Time Moves Slow (BadBadNotGood) 04:33

4. Confessions, Pt. 2 (BadBadNotGood) 06:24

5. Lavender (BadBadNotGood) 03:20

6. Chompy’s Paradise (BadBadNotGood) 03:51

7. IV (BadBadNotGood) 06:59

8. Hyssop of Love (BadBadNotGood) 03:15

9. Structure No. 3 (BadBadNotGood) 04:08

10. In Your Eyes (BadBadNotGood) 04:07

11. Cashmere (BadBadNotGood) 04:45


Matthew Tavares: keyboards

Chester Hansen: bass

Alexander Sowinski: drums

Leland Whitty: saxophones

Sam Herring: vocals (3)

Mick Jenkins: vocals (8)

Charlotte Day Wilson: vocals (10)

Colin Stetson: saxophones (4)

Kaytranada: electronics (5)

Produced by BadBadNotGood

Engineer: Matthew Tavares

Mastering Engineer: João Carvalho

Mixing: Stephen Koszler

Photography: Brent Goldsmith

Cover Design: Benny Jetts

Art Direction: Connor Olthuis


BadBadNotGood’s rise to stardom is founded on bringing a jazz sensibility back to hip-hop. The trio’s first two records were mostly jazzy remakes of hip-hop classics, and III was a dark blend of that sound with electronic production. IV sees the group producing the first complete snapshot of what they’re fully capable of: a holistic grasp of the realms of jazz, soul, electronica and hip-hop. The trio expanded to a quartet with this record, with saxophonist Leland Whitty joining Matthew Tavares on keys, Chester Hansen on bass and Alexander Sowinski on drums. They’re equally capable of operating in avant-garde territory (such as on the opener, “And That, Too”) and psychedelic space (as on “Speaking Gently”). And on the title track, the band hops all over the energetic spectrum, beginning with drum-and-bass percussion and ending with a lengthy solo piece from Whitty. When the now-quartet isn’t laying down its own timeless grooves, it’s inviting noteworthy performers to join in on the chemistry. “Time Moves Slow” features vocalist Sam Herring of the indie band Future Islands, and saxophonist Colin Stetson is heard on “Confessions Pt. II.” Producer Kaytranada lands a feature on the trippy beat “Lavender”; rapper Mick Jenkins brings the rhymes to “Hyssop Of Love”; and singer Charlotte Day Wilson brings buttery vocals to the soulful “In Your Eyes.” While guests are allowed their time to shine, the spotlight is truly on everybody, which is part of what makes this group so special in a circuit of bands named after individuals.

Chris Tart (DownBeat)