After a couple weeks of festival talk, it’s back to our regularly scheduled programming. Here are a few recent finds you might want to check out this weekend.
Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 – “Black Times (feat. Carlos Santana)”
Seun was only 14 years old when he became the lead singer of Egypt 80. You may know Egypt 80 as the legendary Afrobeat band that was led by Seun’s father, Fela, until his tragic death in 1977. Seun has expressed that keeping the band together was a way of sustaining his father’s message, which was often one of anti-corruption and fighting social injustice. In an interview with NPR, Seun said, “The way motherland people all over the world are viewed, the way we are led, is based on an elitist, anti-black narrative.” He goes on to say, “So the message of Afrobeat music is the counter of the narrative: the pro-black, pro-people, pro-motherland narrative from our own perspective.” With the success and cultural impact of Black Panther, this album couldn’t have come at a better time. Panther has created a unique landscape for the themes of “Black Times” to – perhaps – be as well received around the world as a black super hero. Take a look at the video for the title track featuring one of his father’s contemporaries, Carlos Santana.
Nubya Garcia – “When We Are”
London has a vibrant and “free-spirited” jazz scene right now. Thanks to the likes of Yuseef Kamal, Shabaka Hutchings, Moses Boyd, Ezra Collective, and others. Over the last couple years, these artists have created a network of forward-thinking musicians that have cultivated a compound sound that is better suited for the dance floor than a sit down dining club. None of these contributors to the movement are more impressive than the twenty-something-year-old saxophonist and composer Nubya Garcia. By combining elements from the African and Caribbean diaspora, neo-soul with jazz, Garcia creates a sound that is familiar, yet unique. Her latest release, When We Are EP, is the most recent example of Garcia pushing her musical boundaries even further. Check out the title track from the new EP which is out now.
Lord Huron – “Wait By the River”
The KCRW favorite and Los Angeles-based band is primed for their first post 13 Reasons Why soundtrack release and so far, so good. Their forthcoming full-length, Vide Noir is due out April 20th. Founding member Ben Schneider says the album was inspired by downtown Los Angeles. “My nighttime drives ranged all over the city – across the twinkling grid of the valley, into the creeping shadows of the foothills, through downtown’s neon canyons and way out to the darksome ocean. I started imagining Vide Noir as an epic odyssey through the city, across dimensions, and out into the cosmos. A journey along the spectrum of human experience.” When you listen to “Wait By the River” – which is the latest single from the record – you can imagine all of what he describes. The composition is a waltz-like, 50s doo-wop style, that evokes wander-like emotions. It’s a lovely tune and has me excited about what the rest of the album has to offer.
Lord Huron photo c/o Abby Gillard