It’s been a trying past couple of weeks. We as South Africans and Africans need to reflect on ourselves, our roles in our communities and the need to unify to make the changes this country so desperately needs. Don’t lose faith, don’t run away. Have faith, we will overcome.
Slow Jack and Tatenda Wekwatenzi – WOLF AT NIGHT
With the help of a funding organization called Various Roots who supports artists who make socially conscious art, Slow Jack and Tatenda were able to write and record WOLF AT NIGHT. The song was inspired by an artwork created by Malawian illustrator Lambi Chibambo that was commissioned by Various Roots and found a home as a mural in New York City. This track is an aural representation of the emotion, mood, and energy that is the beautiful diversity of Africa. A reminder we desperately need with the current state of violence and discrimination in South Africa.
Tall Thief – Gather Up
I swear every time I listen to Tall Thief I get nostalgic for a childhood summertime that I never actually experienced. I can feel the afterglow of the day’s sun on my skin and I’m surrounded by the scent of sunscreen and vanilla ice-cream cones with a flake. You know the scene, driving home from the beach after a long day with the windows down, the wind blowing in your hair and your legs hanging out the back window – that classic Americana movie sequence and this song playing in the background.
Matt Carstens – High
It’s been a long while since we’ve heard a new artist presenting this kind of pop in South Africa. The old guard of this style has a firm grip on the genre, so its refreshing to hear a 21 year old with such a powerful voice and strong songwriting chops. Working with the legend that is Peach Van Pletzen is also a healthy co-sign that cannot go unmentioned. I’m to hear where this artist goes from here onwards.
Foreign Roy – Don Stoners
The cannabis industry has seen an exponential growth in support and interest as the laws in South Africa change. And while food franchises double the cost of your meal for dribbling CBD oil onto your food there are more important and positive effects of these changes. So why not have an anthem, an ode to weed for the masses? Lucky for us Foreign Roy has provided and thankfully it is a high quality piece of work in more ways than the obvious pun intends.
Bittereinder – Karongeluk
I really wish I would stop forgetting that Bittereinder exists. Every time they release a new track I’m overwhelmed with shame that I’m not keeping them in regular rotation on my playlists. Always lyrically poignant with beat structures to match the challenge of the narrative, maybe 2019 will be the year I stop disappointing them as a useless but ultimately loyal fan.
Deep Aztec – Let Me Tell Ya
Having just made his debut at Rise in Berlin – the incredible event institution that Floyd Lavine uses to push African dance music – it’s a burst of fresh energy to hear this track from Aza. This track is anthemic, perfect for summer and should be bellowing out of the sound systems at every outdoor festival and pool party until winter 2020.