Something For The Weekend?
WITH an accompanying video featuring Brazil’s ‘Huni Kuin’ tribe, British-Spanish indie-folk duo SHRINARI this week self-release their latest single, ‘Listen Up.’
London-based Shrinari are active on the British spiritual music scene and were formed by Lucidia Omamori and Rafael Marchante Angulo, and incorporate harp, guitar and vocals into their music, which has a strong spiritual component, carrying messages of hope and unity.
“I read a book as a teenager, which incorporates two speeches by Native American Indians called ‘How can one sell the air?’ said Omamori.
“It evoked an innate understanding in me as I always had a strong passion towards environmental causes. I really felt strongly about protecting the earth and could not understand the choices we were making to go against this.
“The book came to mind when I was writing the song, further influenced by our time shared with the Huni Kuni people and Native Americans whose interconnectedness with earth and respect for her as our mother rings true throughout my being. It was beautiful to share this at the ‘Extinction Rebellion’ protests in London. I do hope the song inspires people to take environmental action in whatever ways they are able to.”
The duo has previously released the singles, ‘The Gift,’ the cinematic ballad, ‘Desert Path,’ and ‘Standing Rock,’ featuring the sublime horn section from Brixton reggae, dub and afrobeat outfit, The Soothsayers.
“Creating ‘Listen Up’ was a beautiful adventure, it came out as quite experimental to start with, the initial version was a good 90 seconds longer and featured an extended middle section,” added Angulo.
“We decided to cut it down and then reworked it completely, adding Idris Rahman’s lush horn section and recording some instruments again to take advantage of my improved recording skills two years on.
“This song is about the obvious fact that, when you live in immediate and constant touch with nature, you have a naturally unshakeable connection with it and there are things you’d never do, let alone destroy the environment the way it is being destroyed due to our industrial level blindness.
“Again, it’s not about some idyllic idea, even though we love things idyllic – our very survival is in question. This is a recurring theme in our songs because it’s such an important issue. Probably the most important together with human rights violations around the world, which the indigenous defenders of ancestral lands and ways of life suffer constantly.”
Shrinari’s ‘Hold Onto The Hope, Though’ album is now available digitally everywhere, with a percentage of profits going to support projects aimed at protecting the earth and indigenous peoples.
T W O
‘HIGHER LOW,’ the latest single from singer songwriter LEIGH THOMAS gets its release today.
A veteran of the Melbourne indie scene now working exclusively as a solo artist, Thomas has spent the past few months performing live stream events across social media with regular releases all available via his website.
“Higher Low touches on a few concepts, and on a personal level, stems from a position of disempowerment,” he explains. “When one is successful in what they do throughout their life, their lifestyle and relationships are built from that place. But life teaches us that this is illusory, and when it collapses and one hits a low point, it can pull those around you down also. The song is about getting back up, thereby also lifting those around you, or at least hoping that you don’t drag them down with you and hoping there still remains some confidence in you.
“There is an overall observation that we contend with finding balance between fear of failure, and fear of success, and in either scenario, fear of letting others down, which presents the danger of settling for mediocrity and comfortability, and never taking risks.
“In summary, most of us are striving to better our position in life, or whatever it is we do. We are at neither the bottom or top, but constantly range and flux somewhere in between. Kind of like a game of ‘Snakes and Ladders!’ That was one of the concepts I considered for the cover art but decided to play around with the legend of Icarus, who could neither fly too low for fear of wetting his wings in the ocean and drowning, nor fly too high and having the sun set fire to his wings.”
A pleasant enough sounding AOR album filler, ‘Higher Low’ will prove popular enough in certain quarters, but it’s nowhere near as satisfying as the Tom Petty-esque, ‘A Thousand Years Old,’ released last November.
“A Thousand Years Old’ is a bit of an odd ball for me, and quite personal, so much so that I didn’t release it except as a Bandcamp track as I didn’t think listeners would relate all that much,” he added.
“I wrote and recorded it quite a while ago, early in my song writing venture, when I pretty much recorded everything that I finished, just to find my way and try different things. I am probably still doing that to a degree!”
Judge for yourselves by visiting Leigh Thomas (leighthomasmusic.com)
T H R E E
FROM their eighth studio album, ‘Swamp Street Soul,’ Manchester’s post-punk trio INCA BABIES release ‘I’m Grounded,’ a fitting soundtrack for our recent lockdown, cabin-fever times.
“This deal with the last few years as a reflection of geographical inactivity for someone who gets around and travels a lot the time of being; ‘square wheeled on the deck’, was particularly arduous,” explained guitarist and vocalist, Harry Stafford.
“But it’s not just a ‘lockdown’ song, it was actually written before all the pandemic’s constraints kicked in. It began as a muse on being in a particularly hopeless state of limbo – which of course exacerbated itself once we were stuck at home watching the clock and trying to be creative.”
“‘I’m Grounded, I’m square wheeled on the deck, I’m grounded, my zeppelin’s a wreck’… The video spans the time at home as the seasons pass and our situation seems unlikely to improve – but appears to offer an understanding of who we are once we are placed outside of the impediments of work and have to face the habitual skirmish for survival as the calendar changes and the pages fall off.”
Inca Babies are Stafford, bassist Vince Hunt (A Witness, Blue Orchids) and Rob Haynes (The Membranes, Goldblade) on drums and percussion.
A vibrant part of Britain’s early postpunk scene, Inca Babies’ story began in 1983 in the now legendary deck-access flats of Manchester’s Hulme, which were intended as ‘cities in the sky’ for young executives but quickly became cockroach-infested slums mostly inhabited by students, artists, and drug addicts.