Willoughby: 'Intentions'

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Willoughby frontman Gus Seyffert. Nik Atkins hide caption

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Los Angeles-based musician Gus Seyffert has spent plenty of time behind the scenes, collaborating with artists such as Benji Hughes, The Bird & the Bee, and Junkie XL. Last month, however, he stepped front-and-center under the moniker Willoughby and released his solo debut. I Know What You're Up To is an entirely alluring album with a decidedly retro vibe to it. Imagine a 1960s-era lounge, the sort that James Bond would casually visit for his shaken-not-stirred vodka martini, and you might start to get a feel for what Willoughby has created.

I Know What You're Up To opens with the song "Intentions." Its wispy, dream-like vocals combined with gentle instrumentation make for the perfect late-night lullaby. "Story" follows it and picks up the pace slightly while showing off the Brit-pop influence in Seyffert's music. It's hard to believe he grew up in Kansas City. Later, Seyffert pairs with singer-songwriter Priscilla Ahn for the lovely folk duet "Wonder." But where the album really shines is in pieces like its title track. The jazzy, swaying rhythm of "I Know What You're Up To" seems tailor-made for a candlelit seduction.

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