Their recorded music can be dark, dense and the lyrics ambiguous, but when you watch them live that kinetic energy is unmistakable. Apparent, visceral and highly addictive.
Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole and G. Hastings met as kids and set their bodies against the tide. From the beginning they were obstinately not going to do what was expected.
Under disparate influences that ranged from Enya to Suicide, they began to create the unique sound of their early albums, Tape One, Tape Two, the Mercury Award winning DEAD, and then the face slap to the world, White Men Are Black Men Too and their second SAY Award winner, Cocoa Sugar, where the sound was refined and almost bent back, like a disjointed thumb, into an unnatural position.
Their latest album is entitled, Heavy Heavy. The title could be a mood, or it could describe the smoothed granite of bass that supports the sound… or it could be a nod to the natural progression of boys to grown men and the inevitable toll of living, a joyous burden, relationships, family, the natural momentum of a group that has been around long enough to witness massive changes. This new album nails together a collage of influences, ideas, ages and scenes, all bound together with unrestrained energy, passion and soul. And it seems, right now, the most radical thing to do is to have some Soul.
Noted by Pitchfork as perhaps “the band’s best yet”, Heavy Heavy has resonated with a magnitude of listeners. It garnered raving reviews and glowing features from the likes of The New York Times, Pitchfork, Stereogum (Album of the Week), Billboard (Indie Artist of the Month), PopMatters and The Needle Drop, who lauded Heavy Heavy as “The trio’s most exciting studio album yet, so well worth the wait”. The record received stellar radio support from the likes of KCRW and KEXP, charting on each stations' respective top charts. It was also among the most played records across college and community stations across the US.
A truly enigmatic band with a fabulously hard to define sound, fighting definition. No dress code required. Dancing, not moshing. Hips jerking, feet slipping, brain firing in Catherine Wheel sparks of joy and empathy. Underground but never dark. Still young, after some years, even as the heavy, heavy weight of the world seems to grow day by day.
Heavy Heavy was released on 3 February 2023 via Ninja Tune.