This third LP from Leeds based, now London residing 12-piece formation certainly sounds like their best to date. Since 2015 when they put the band together in Leeds College of Music their star keeps rising and it looks like all those personalities didn’t cross that path by accident. Usually I am not big on Soul in its classic form, with all respect for the performers, I simply need more challenge. Here I am not short of it at all. I remember when I first had heard their Siren Song some 2 years back or so, What was immediately striking was that organic connection to the roots in this mostly white band, led by the young vocalist Nubiya Brandon, easy going girl with a great easiness for transforming her vocal from style to style, from spoken word to rap, from street poetry to euphonic emotional whisper.
Therefore, I took advantage to see that program live on stage when they joined the list during The Love Supreme 2017 festival acts and I must say since that live session they’ve grown on me even more. What came from the stage was an authenticity and the honest joy of jamming together which was addictive, and it spread to the audience like fire. The big top was full and steamy and Nubiya kept the band in order with a gentle hand, but with fistful emotional grip.
This program starts with Tell It To Me Slowly,a funky beat loaded tune, driven with an energy reminding me of Quincy Jones’ bands from 70’s. Good, fast track making your legs moving.
Tittle piece coming after is more percussive, and the rhythm arrangements, braking between the verses are giving it a good drive, nice brass culminations again, are keeping all shining.
Basa Basa coming after is lovely Afro Beat tune driven by K.O. G’s guest appearance in true Malian spirit, with catching choral choruses weaved into the rhythmical tissue. Instrumentally the fusion of electronics and acoustic content blends very well and the trumpet solo over the Congas sounds vivid and sparky. Joined brass effort at the culmination is one of my top picks from that recording.
Another cool Afro- trip is the piece called Addis to London with a guest appearance of the great Ethiopian Music Guru, Mulatu Astatke, the father of the Ethio-jazz. This is my top choice from that recording, wonderfully framed with Drums and Marimbas and murky brass section filling the gaps with a nice repetitive pattern, striking between Drum culminations.
There is spoken word poetry present as well. Tunes like Brother or more Rap in style alike Permission. Something what Nubiya is good with. There is also an Afro spiced Bossa, entitled Borders and credited to Pilo Adami. In one-word lots of twists and swivels which are making that recording equally good for the dance floor and focused listening. With plenty of layers and styles everyone will find something for themselves.