It’s been a hot minute but Joburg-based folk rock outfit 4AM are back with their brand-new single “Our People” taken from their latest EP Tides. And, in true folk-rock style, the four-piece band have delivered a high energy and fast-paced offering with a feel-good message that will undoubtedly irritate the cynics among us.
Upbeat and light-hearted from the get-go, “Our People” is characterised by a healthy dose of generic “African-inspired” sounds reminiscent of Shakira’s “Waka Waka” that’s probably supposed to rouse the flame of camaraderie and patriotism among us beleaguered South Africans.
Keeping a brisk pace for its duration, the song is undeniably catchy thanks to buoyant melodies comprised of rhythmic acoustic guitar and a rousing beat – and the charismatic vocals courtesy of lead singer Mark Wainstein. Simple in a decidedly folksy way, the lyrics don’t just take a bite out of the “patriotic wholesomeness” biscuit but unashamedly wolf down the entire packet. The message is one of unity and while it certainly means well, it kind of feels tired and overused.
The music video is guaranteed to trigger a deep longing for live music in you as you’re faced with footage of the band performing to a bunch of overjoyed audience members with drinks in hand – something that feels as though it’s a snapshot from a different life entirely.