Tag: neo-soul

Deriving its name from the Spanish word for “kite,” JOVM mainstay Nick Hakim‘s fourth album Cometa was recorded between studios and domestic spaces throughout Texas, North Carolina, California and New York. Featuring contributions from Alex G. (piano) and Abe Rounds (drums), and collaborations with DJ Dahi, Helado Negro and Arto Lindsay, the 10-song album is a collection of romantic songs written through different lenses, guided by Hakim’s experience of falling in love that made him feel like he was floating. 

That dizzying, out-of-body sensation is the central theme that anchors the album’s material, with Hakim using the extreme distance between a kite and a comet as a metaphor for the depth of one’s love for someone else — and being humbled by it. “The key is to find that extremity of love for yourself,” Hakim says in press notes. “It’s about growing into someone you want to be; it’s about finding pure love within yourself when the world around us seems to be crumbling.”

For Hakim, the purpose of Cometa is less about constructing a narrative around romance and more about exploration through 10 complex compositions woven with aching metaphors throughout. Of course, while for Hakim there are special memories attached to each song, he prefers to leave them open to interpretation, offering the listener a comfortable space to develop their own connections to the material. “I think it’s nice to have love in your life and to have people that are sharing and wanting that,” Hakim explains. “It’s my interpretation of a really romantic way to express love in my own way.”

So far I’ve written about two of Cometa‘s single:

  • Centered around a sparse and unfussy arrangement of strummed guitar, bursts of twinkling keys, atmospheric synths and cymbal-driven percussion paired with Hakim’s breathily cooed delivery, “Happen,” sees the JOVM mainstay subtly pushing his sound and approach in a new direction while still maintaining the dreamy and earnest essence at the core of his work. But ultimately, the song evokes the sensation of weightlessness — and then gently floating away beyond your control. 
  • Vertigo,” a woozy song centered around a dusty, analog-like production featuring an arraignment of strummed guitar, skittering boom bap and layers of whirring synths paired with Hakim’s achingly tender vocals. The song depicts the dizzying sensation of trying to stay focused on someone when it feels like the world around you in spinning out of control.

Cometa‘s third and latest single, the DJ Dahi co-produced “M1” is centered around a breezy arrangement consisting of a skittering beat loop, choir-like synth stabs paired with wobbling low-end. The arrangement serves as a silky and ethereal bed for Hakim’s achingly plaintive and soulful falsetto. Interestingly “M1” is an easy-going laid back bop that captures Hakim having fun — while capturing the sweet, swooning ache of love.

“I’ll never forget when Nick was opening up sessions he had previously been creating for the album and ‘M1’ was just a DJ Dahi drum loop, a choir synth take plus a sub bass sound with minimal editing,” producer Andrew Sarlo recalls. “It was an immediate head turner and we knew we had to mine it. Later that night Nick delivered an insane scratch vocal take that still gives me chills just recalling the first moment I heard him ascend melodically during the chorus refrain. We tend to have one song during the final stages of the album process that is a hard one to crack and the adrenaline rush of finishing ‘M1’ in time was very gratifying. It’s definitely solidified as one of my favorite Nick songs”

Cometa is slated for an October 21, 2022 release through ATO Records

Hakim has three album release shows in NYC (TV Eye), Los Angeles, and London to celebrate the album — and those three shows sold-out immediately. He also announced a headline North American tour throughout January and February 2023, and a headline European tour in March. 

The Winter North American tour features a January 21, 2022 stop at Brooklyn Steel. Tickets for all the dates go on sale Friday at 10:00am local time.

Live Dates

Album release shows

10/20 – Nick Hakim presents COMETA – New York, NY @ TV Eye (SOLD OUT)

10/24 – Nick Hakim presents COMETA – Los Angeles, CA @ Zebulon (SOLD OUT)

10/27 – Nick Hakim presents COMETA – London, England @ Avalon Café (SOLD OUT)

North America

1/20 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall

1/21 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel

1/22 – Washington D.C. @ Union Stage

1/24 – Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe

1/27 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl

1/28 – Nashville, TN @ The Blue Room

1/30 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall

1/31- Austin, TX @ Parish

2/01 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada

2/03 – Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge

2/04 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah

2/05 – Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy & Harriets

2/07 – Los Angeles, CA @ Regent

2/08 – San Francisco, CA @ Regency

2/10 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir

2/11 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos

2/12 – Vancouver, BC @ Hollywood Theater

Europe

3/12 – Berlin, Germany @ Lido

3/13 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Melkweg OZ

3/15 – Paris, France @ Trabendo

3/16 – Brussels, Belgium @ Botanique Rotonde

3/18 – London, England @ The Forum

New Video: clo Returns with Vibey “Big Smile”

clo is an emerging, 20-year-old, San Francisco-born, Brussels-raised, neo-soul/R&B and jazz singer/songwriter, who’s currently splitting her time between New York and Paris, where she’s simultaneously pursuing studies in Neuroscience while modeling, and starting a professional music career. 

The emerging Belgian-born artist can trace the origins of her music career to when she started receiving classical and jazz training in piano when she turned four. Since then, clo has spent much of her formative years creating her own original music, inspired by Etta JamesElla FitzgeraldSnoh Aalegra, and CELESTE

Earlier this year, I wrote about clo’s debut single “room,” a slow-burning and vibey ballad centered around the young Belgian-born artist’s sultry vocals paired with a brooding production featuring skittering, tweeter and woofer rattling trap beats, twinkling jazz piano and atmospheric synths. The song reveals an artist, who’s remarkably self-assured beyond her relative youth — while showcasing an artist, with an uncanny knack for mature, lived-in lyricism and a well-placed, razor sharp hook. 

Her second single “Big Smile” is a vibey, neo-soul-like ballad that finds the emerging young artist collaborating with a live band, which gives the song a lush, cinematic sound and a vibrant, you’re-there-in-the-studio immediacy — all while continuing to reveal a singer/songwriter with a mature beyond her years self-assuredness.

The accompanying video for “Big Smile” primarily features home video shot footage of the young San Francisco-born artist as a small child. The video hints at the very origins of the young artist’s passion and career and a loss of innocence and simplicity.

New Video: Nick Hakim Shares Woozy “Vertigo”

Deriving its name from the Spanish word for “kite,” JOVM mainstay Nick Hakim‘s fourth album Cometa was recorded between studios and domestic spaces throughout Texas, North Carolina, California and New York. Featuring contributions from Alex G. (piano) and Abe Rounds (drums), and collaborations with DJ Dahi, Helado Negro and Arto Lindsay, the 10-song album is a collection of romantic songs written through different lenses, guided by Hakim’s experience of falling in love that made him feel like he was floating. 

That dizzying, out-of-body sensation is the central them that anchors the album’s material, with Hakim using the extreme distance between a kite and a comet as a metaphor for the depth of one’s love for someone else — and being so humbled by it. “The key is to find that extremity of love for yourself,” Hakim says in press notes. “It’s about growing into someone you want to be; it’s about finding pure love within yourself when the world around us seems to be crumbling.”

For Hakim, the purpose of Cometa is less about constructing a narrative around romance and more about exploration through 10 complex compositions woven with aching metaphors throughout. Of course, while for Hakim there are special memories attached to each song, he prefers to leave them open to interpretation, offering the listener a comfortable space to develop their own connections to the material. “I think it’s nice to have love in your life and to have people that are sharing and wanting that,” Hakim explains. “It’s my interpretation of a really romantic way to express love in my own way.”

Last month, I wrote about Cometa‘s first single, “Happen.” Centered around a sparse and unfussy arrangement of strummed guitar, bursts of twinkling keys, atmospheric synths and cymbal-driven percussion paired with Hakim’s breathily cooed delivery. The song sees the JOVM mainstay subtly pushing his sound and approach in a new direction while still maintaining the dreamy and earnest essence at the core of his work. But ultimately, the song evokes the sensation of weightlessness — and then gently floating away beyond your control.

“Vertigo,” Cometa‘s woozy second single is centered around a dusty, analog-like production featuring an arraignment of strummed guitar, skittering boom bap and layers of whirring synths paired with Hakim’s achingly tender vocals. Interestingly, “Vertigo” was the first song recorded for the album — and is inspired by Stevie Wonder, with Hakim layering synths on top of each other to depict the dizzying sensation of trying to stay focused on someone when it feels like the world around you is spinning.

Directed by Asil Baykal, the accompanying video for “Vertigo” was shot in Bosnia-Herzegovina and sees Hakim sitting in a rotating house built by Vojin Kusic, who created the space for his wife, so that she had the ability to change her view at the flip of a switch.

“The making of the video spanned over a transformative year, and our collaborative friendship with Nick became the center of the journey,” Baykal explains. “Initially, Nick showed me a video of a Tuxedomoon performance from Downtown 81. It was filmed in the studio where the camera was spinning in the middle.” She adds, “That idea gave life to the lyrics ‘ Spinnin’, fast as hell can’t tell if it’s me or the room that’s moving’. The room evolved into a moving house by a man who built it for his wife. Love is dizzying with multiple spins.”

Cometa is slated for an October 21, 2022 release through ATO Records.

New Video: Nick Hakim Shares Dreamy Visual for Ethereal “Happen”

Deriving its name from the Spanish word for “kite,” JOVM mainstay Nick Hakim‘s fourth album Cometa was recorded between studios and domestic spaces throughout Texas, North Carolina, California and New York. Featuring contributions from contributions from Alex G. (piano) and Abe Rounds (drums), the 10-song album is a collection of romantic songs written through different lenses, guided by Hakim’s experience of falling in love that made him feel like he was floating.

That dizzying, out-of-body sensation is the central them that anchors the album’s material, with Hakim using the extreme distance between a kite and a comet as a metaphor for the depth of one’s love for someone else — and being so humbled by it. “The key is to find that extremity of love for yourself,” Hakim says in press notes. “It’s about growing into someone you want to be; it’s about finding pure love within yourself when the world around us seems to be crumbling.”

For Hakim, the purpose of Cometa is less about constructing a narrative around romance and more about exploration through 10 complex compositions woven with aching metaphors throughout. Of course, while for Hakim there are special memories attached to each song, he prefers to leave them open to interpretation, offering the listener a comfortable space to develop their own connections to the material. “I think it’s nice to have love in your life and to have people that are sharing and wanting that,” Hakim explains. “It’s my interpretation of a really romantic way to express love in my own way.”

Cometa‘s first single “Happen” is centered around a sparse and unfussy arrangement of strummed guitar, brief bursts of twinkling keys, atmospheric synths and cymbal-driven percussion paired with Hakim’s breathily cooed delivery. The song sees the JOVM mainstay subtly pushing his sound and approach in a new direction while still maintaining the dreamy and earnest essence at the core of his work. And “Happen” may well be the best example of what to expect from the album, as the song evokes the sensation of weightlessness — and then gently floating away beyond your control.

Directed by Johan Carlsson and shot in Roy Andersson’s Studio 24 in Sweden, the accompanying visual is rooted in the concept of “sonder,” the profound feeling of realizing that everyone, including strangers passing in the street, has a life with experiences and emotions as vivid and complex as one’s own. The video is a dreamy, slow-motion one-shot that pans to various commuters sharing a train car before closing out on Hakim.

The idea for the video is very simple, we see people on a subway, all busy with their different lives, some are in great spirits and some in deep thoughts maybe because of trouble at work or in their personal life. Sometimes when you’re in a public space you’re not interested in your fellow human beings at all and sometimes looking at them is so interesting that you can’t stop,” Johan Carlsson says of the video. “I hope this video can be an example of when people are interesting to look at, in a way that helps you reflect on your own life. I think Nick’s music is fantastic and has a cinematic and visual quality I hope comes through in the video,” he adds.

Cometa is slated for an October 21, 2022 release through ATO Records.

New Video: James Chatburn and Noah Slee Team Up with Local Musicians in Intimate Visual for Woozy “Do You Wanna Live Like That”

James Chatburn is a rising, Sydney-born, Berlin-based singer/songwriter and producer. Since relocating to the German capital back in 2015, Chatburn has carved out a reputation for being a highly in-demand singer/songwriter and producer, who has collaborated with acclaimed Aussie hip-hop outfit Hilltop Hoods‘ certified Gold single “Higher,”  rum.goldJordan RakeiNoah SleeSedric Perry, and a growing list of others. As a solo artist, the Sydney-born, Berlin-based JOVM mainstay has developed and honed a sound that meshes elements of soul, blues, electro pop, neo-soul and psych pop with the release of his full-length debut, 2020’s David Tobias co-produced Faible

During the lead-up to Fabile‘s release, I managed to write about three of the album’s singles: 

  • In My House,” a warm and vibey, two-step inducing bit of soul, centered around introspective, earnest songwriting, reverb-drenched guitars and thumping beats.
  • Jewellery and Gold,” one of the album’s more tongue-in-cheek tracks, featuring a narrator looking forward to a future, where he’s flush with cash, and as a result, any of the major issues of his life being settled with that newfound cash — because dollar dollar bill y’all. 
  • The Hurt,” a ballad that saw the Aussie-born, German-based JOVM mainstay express longing and heartache in a way that reminded me quite a bit of Nick Hakim.

Chatburn’s highly-anticipated sophomore album Late Night Howling is forthcoming. The album’s latest single “Do You Wanna Live Like That,” feat. Noah Slee is an expansive and mind-bending take on neo-soul and pop centered around a unique and woozily dynamic song structure that rapidly shifts in tone, time signature and instrumentation: The song’s introduction begins with twinkling pianos in a Latin jazz like tempo before quickly shifting to tweeter and woofer rattling trap beats and then shifting again to a vibey 70s neo-soul-inspired coda. 

Lyrically, the song is intimate and introspective, with its narrator vacillating between self-doubt, analysis, progression and gratefulness. “‘Do You Wanna Live Like That’ is a track I created which ended up kind of being a few different tracks in one, inspired by people like Tyler, The Creator with just these sudden drops and Sault with this vibe – simple not perfect, but just perfectly imperfect,” James Chatburn explains. “Noah Slee and I have been friends basically since we both moved to Berlin, it just took 7 years but we finally got around to releasing a track together.” 

Directed by Dhanesh Jayaselan, the accompanying video is a live performance-styled video shot at Callie’s in Berlin and features Chatburn and Slee with a backing band featuring Berlin-based musicians Tim Granbacka (keys, vocals), Johnny Kulo (guitar, vocals), Adam Sait (bass) and Richard Young (drums). The live footage is intimate and stylish but ends with Chatburn walking over to contemplatively strum an acoustic guitar.

James Chatburn is a rising, Sydney-born, Berlin-based singer/songwriter and producer. Since relocating to the German capital back in 2015, Chatburn has carved out a reputation for being a highly in-demand singer/songwriter and producer, who has collaborated with acclaimed Aussie hip-hop outfit Hilltop Hoods‘ certified Gold single “Higher,” rum.gold, Jordan Rakei, Noah Slee, Sedric Perry, and a growing list of others. As a solo artist, the Sydney-born, Berlin-based JOVM mainstay has developed and honed a sound that meshes elements of soul, blues, electro pop, neo-soul and psych pop with the release of his full-length debut, 2020’s David Tobias co-produced Faible.

During the lead-up to Fabile‘s release, I managed to write about three of the album’s singles:

  • In My House,” a warm and vibey, two-step inducing bit of soul, centered around introspective, earnest songwriting, reverb-drenched guitars and thumping beats.
  • Jewellery and Gold,” one of the album’s more tongue-in-cheek tracks, featuring a narrator looking forward to a future, where he’s flush with cash, and as a result, any of the major issues of his life being settled with that newfound cash — because dollar dollar bill y’all. 
  • The Hurt,” a ballad that saw the Aussie-born, German-based JOVM mainstay express longing and heartache in a way that reminded me quite a bit of Nick Hakim.

Chatburn’s highly-anticipated sophomore album Late Night Howling is forthcoming. The album’s latest single “Do You Wanna Live Like That,” feat. Noah Slee is an expansive and mind-bending take on neo-soul and pop centered around a unique and woozily dynamic song structure that rapidly shifts in tone, time signature and instrumentation: The song’s introduction begins with twinkling pianos in a Latin jazz like tempo before quickly shifting to tweeter and woofer rattling trap beats and then shifting again to a vibey 70s neo-soul-inspired coda.

Lyrically, the song is intimate and introspective, with its narrator vacillating between self-doubt, analysis, progression and gratefulness. “‘Do You Wanna Live Like That’ is a track I created which ended up kind of being a few different tracks in one, inspired by people like Tyler, The Creator with just these sudden drops and Sault with this vibe – simple not perfect, but just perfectly imperfect,” James Chatburn explains. “Noah Slee and I have been friends basically since we both moved to Berlin, it just took 7 years but we finally got around to releasing a track together.” 

New Video: Belgian-born Artist clo Shares Sultry and Self-Assured “Room”

clo is a 20-year-old, emerging, Brussels-born neo-soul/R&B and jazz singer/songwriter, who’s currently splitting her time between New York and Paris, where she’s simultaneously pursuing studies in Neuroscience while modeling, and a professional music career.

The emerging Belgian-born artist can trace the origins of her music career to when she started receiving classical and jazz training in piano when she turned four. Since then, clo has spent much of her formative years creating her own original music, inspired by Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Snoh Aalegra, and CELESTE.

clo’s debut single “room” is a slow-burning and vibey ballad centered around the young Belgian-born artist’s sultry vocals paired with a brooding production featuring skittering, tweeter and woofer rattling trap beats, twinkling jazz piano and atmospheric synths. The song reveals an artist, who’s remarkably self-assured beyond her relative youth — while showcasing an artist, with an uncanny knack for mature, lived-in lyricism and a well-placed, razor sharp hook.

The accompanying video follows the young Belgian-born artist on a glorious summer day through beautiful Paris.

New Video: Tanika Charles Teams Up with DijahSB on a Strutting and Triumphant Bop

Two-time Juno Award-nominated and Polaris Prize listed, Toronto-born and-based Trinidadian-Canadian singer/songwriter Tanika Charles spent a formative part of her life in Edmonton, when energy sector opportunities brought her family there. But whether they were in Toronto or Edmonton, music was a constant presence in the Charles household: Her father would return from two weeks on site with the latest jazz records for Tanika and her brothers to play and jam out along.

Several years later, Tanika’s eldest brother would be the first to coach her on how to sing and how to record a song. As a young adult., Charles relocated to Vancouver, where she picked up gigs as a backing vocalist and got a taste of tour life. When she returned to her birthplace, the Trinidadian-Canadian artist’s long-held dreams of becoming a professional artist began to come to fruition: She assembled her first backing band, and with that band recorded her debut EP What? What! What?! With the release of her debut EP, Charles quickly became a local scene fixture.

Back in  2016, Charles independently released her full-length debut Soul Run within her native Canada. The album was sensation nationally, with the album receiving a Polaris Music Prize nomination and a Juno Award nomination for Best R&B/Soul Recording of the Year. The following year, Italian purveyors of funk and soul Record Kicks released Soul Run internationally to critical applause from the likes of Exclaim!, Music Republic Magazine and others. Album singles like “Endless Chain,” “Love Fool,” and album title track “Soul Run” received regular radio rotation on stations across Canada, the US, the UK and France.

Charles’ sophomore album, 2019’s The Gumption was released through Record Kicks. The 12-song album picked up where Soul Run left off, further establishing the Canadian artist’s sound and approach in which classic soul is mixed with modern production. Thematically, the album saw Charles tackling moments of vindication, uncertain love, forbidden fruit and the state of the world. “It’s a little more mature,” Tanika said at the time. ““It’s not feeling guilty about being up front, not being afraid to address situations that aren’t comfortable for me. I’m comfortable in my skin now in a way I never was before.” The Gumption was long-listed for the 2019 Polaris Music Prize and nominated for the 2020 Juno Awards R&B/Soul Recording of the Year.

Along with her latest backing band, The Wonderfuls, Charles has toured across Canada and eight other counties to support Soul Run and The Gumption. Those tours have prominently featured stops across the local, national and global festival circuits, including Rennes Trans MusicalesNXNELärz FusionPop MontrealCanarias Jazz FestivalCBC Music FestivalTD Toronto Jazz FestBirmingham’s Mostly Funk, Soul and Jazz Festival, the Pan Am Games and a list of others.

The Canadian artist’s music has appeared on HBO’s Less Than Kind, ABC’s Rookie BlueThe CW’s SeedCTV’s Saving HopeCBC’s Kim Convenience and Workin’ Moms and a nationally broadcast KFC ad campaign. She also has appeared as a reoccurring guest on CBC Kids and as a lounge singer on Global TV’s Bomb Girls. Between a busy schedule as a touring musician, Charles appeared in the touring production of Freedom Singer in 2017. She returned to that role in February 2019’s Now We Recognize

Charles’ third album Papillon de Nuit: The Night Butterfly is slated for an April 8, 2022 release through Record Kicks. The album, which features guest spots from Toronto-based emcee DijahSB and multi-disciplinary artist Khari McClelland was written and recorded during and after pandemic related lockdowns and restrictions. Much like its immediate predecessor, the forthcoming album is reportedly anchored in growth and maturity. 

The album’s title is derived from an unlikely source, a creature that soars after the sun has set, but often goes unnoticed until light is shone on it. Referred to as “papillon de nuit” by some, the animal is more commonly known as a moth, possibly revealing a linguistic bias. “I always thought it was a strange insect,” the acclaimed Canadian artist says in press notes. “Once while in Paris, a friend swatted at one and I asked: ‘Was that a moth?’. I was told: ‘No, that’s a papillon de nuit.’ I thought that was the most beautiful description for this otherwise overlooked creature. When I later learned of the symbolism associated with it, I felt that really spoke to both my own situation and also what we’ve all been going through.”

Last month, I wrote about the funky, old-school soul-inspired bop “Rent Free,” a fiery tell-off to the energy sucking vampires, deadbeats, naysayers, haters, time wasters and other shitty people of life, centered around Charles’ effortless, Motown era-like delivery. We’ve all had those sorts in our lives, and this song is the sort of song that tells you that it’s okay to push those toxic people out of your life for you to feel better — or to succeed.

The album’s latest single “Different Morning” is a collaboration that features Toronto-based emcee DijahSB, whose album Head Above the Waters was featured in Exclaim Magazine‘s Top 50 Albums of the year and landed a Juno Award nomination — and a performance slot at the award show. Sonically speaking, “Different Morning” is a slick and strutting synthesis of Larry Levan-like house and neo-soul centered around twinkling Rhodes, a sinuous bass line, swinging J. Dilla-like beats, and ebullient horn blasts. And over that celebratory two-step inducing production, Charles contributes soulful vocals that gradually build up confidence with a celebratory and triumphant verse from DijahSB.

“So much of our days are spent dwelling on the same mistakes, the same misfortunes. That thing we wish didn’t happen, or what we wish we hadn’t done,” Tanika Charles explains in press notes. “‘Different Morning’ is about starting a new day without that baggage, about finding a way to correct course and move past it. What starts as a pitiful interior monologue evolves into a celebration of getting over that hump by being your biggest cheerleader. DijahSB is someone who was able to carry that triumphant spirit that the second half of the song needed. ‘I’m alive today’ is enough of a blessing, enough of an accomplishment, and enough to be thankful for.”

Directed by Cazhhmere, the accompanying video for “Different Morning” features the Canadian artists in a lush, Alice in Wonderland-like maze at night dancing and rocking out to the song. Shit, I wish I could join them because they’re having fun, and just enjoying the moment.

Anna Stubbs is a London-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, best known for being one-half of forward-thinking London-based nu jazz/broken beat act Brotherly. Stubbs steps out into the limelight as a solo artist with her solo recording Kinzoogianna.

Stubbs’ Kinzoogianna full-length debut Gold For The Hungry Souls is slated for an August release through Brotherly/Kudos Records. Featuring a backing band of Rob Mullarkey (bass) and Richard Spaven (drums), Gold For The Hungry Souls will be comprised of “an epic, nu-jazz, soul collection of nine, quirky and memorable songs with hooky, unexpected grooves and harmonies,” according to Stubbs.

“Cinnamon Bun,” Gold For The Hungry Souls‘ first single is a dazzling mix of Quiet Storm piano-led soul centered around Stubbs’ easy-going powerhouse vocals, twinkling synths within an expansive, mind-bending song structure held together with some razor sharp hooks. Lyrically and thematically, the song captures life’s small joys — getting up in the morning next to a lover, after a night of lovemaking, coffee and sticky, sweet cinnamon buns and so on with a loving specificity.

New Video: Mama’s Gun Shares a Surreal and Comic “Thriller”-Inspired Visual for “Party For One”

Deriving their name from Erykah Badu‘s acclaimed and beloved album Mama’s Gun, the London-based soul outfit Mama’s Gun — currently, Andy Platts, Cameron Dawson, David Oliver, Terry Lewis and Chris Boot — formed back in 2008. And since their formation, they’ve released four full-length albums: 2009’s Routes to Riches, which broke big in Japan and eventually lead to the British band being the most played international artist on Japanese radio that year; 2011’s Life and Soul; 2014’s Cheap Hotel; and 2018’s Golden Days.

Adding to a growing profile, the London-based soul outfit have opened for Level 42Beverley KnightBen l’Oncle Soul and Raphael Saadiq while developing a fanbase across Southeast Asia — in particular South Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Singapore.

Now, if you’ve been following this site over the past few weeks, you might recall that the rising London-based soul outfit began the year with the “Party For One”/”Looking for Moses” double A-side single. Released earlier this month, the double A single serves as a teaser for the band’s highly-anticipated fifth album Cure The Jones.

Written and produced during the pandemic by the band’s Andy Platts’ with additional soundscaping from the band’s Chriss Bott, Cure The Jones was recorded direct-to-tape with an array of analog gear at Platts’ home studio in a breakneck three day session. The album, which is slated for an April 1. 2022 release through the band’s Candelion Records with Secretly Group and Colemine Records is reportedly informed and inspired by the spirit of conscious late ’60s and ’70s soul (think Bill Withers and Marvin Gaye) and the turbulence of the past couple of years. While being a lush, nuanced meditation on a world turned upside down, the album thematically explores and touches upon love, loss, and life through the most pressing sociopolitical issues of our day.

Double A-side single and album single “Party For One” is a slow-burning and strutting bit of 70s psych soul and neo-soul centered around the sort of low-slung and wobbling bass line that would make Bootsy Collins proud, a lush horn line, fluttering psychedelic effects and Andy Platts’ dreamy falsetto. “Party For One” points out a bitter irony that even loners and homebodies felt during pandemic-related lockdowns — sometimes, you just want to see and talk to another human adult.

“Lyrically ‘Party For One’ comes from me being a bit of a loner – I like my own company and space to create, think and reflect,” the band’s Andy Platts explains. “I was in my ideal world during the early stages of the pandemic, on my own and with no one around, but I was mourning the company of strangers. There is something in anonymous togetherness that is the stuff of life.” 

Directed and edited by Chip Creative, the recently released video for “Party For One” is a surreal and comic romp featuring the band and their family and friends on a night out that turns into a low-budget Thriller, which includes werewolves and a dance routine.