When Freshlyground released Jika Jika in 2003, they were already a big name on the Cape live scene. They blend musical sophistication, into an accessible, hip style that epitomises our post-1994 urban brew.
This unusually good looking bunch are regulars at festivals, and play all over Africa, as well as in Rome and Japan. Some, like Josh Hawk, are well known SA musos. And when they're billed, be it in Long Street or Kirstenbosch gardens - they always pulled a crowd. But their recorded work? It just wasn't the same without their loveable live presence to back it up.
Until now. Nomvula is a slick and unexpectedly much, much improved follow up to Jika Jika, their successful first album.
The same warm spirited jive sound is given a smoother, better balanced, tightly bound treatment.
They mostly do away with the old slightly amateurish ethno-jangly tones of their debut, but keep the old attractively diverse - and daring - instrumentation. They bolster the mix with a guest vocal chorus, strings, studio effects ("Touch in the night") and subtle vocal moments ("Vanish"). As a result, the unusual use of thin tones of flute together with the gorgeous Zolani Mahola's meaty vocals no longer seems forced. Energetic guitar, keyboards, bass and violin backing keep up the pace. They've done what many fusion bands fail to do: they've really found a sound that works.
Their songs (most are in English) are about a African experiences that are global too - looking for leaders to trust ("I am the man"), remembering a friend lost to changing times ("Vanish"), falling in and out of love ("Touch in the night" "I'd like"), or just jiving joyfully to a song about serious issues, hopes and dreams ("Doo be boo").
Experience and talent are a great combination. Freshlyground prove that by sticking around and sticking together you can earn your fame and be celebrated for making great music.
- Jean Barker
This weekend Scott Stapp, the voice of legendary rock band Creed, kicks off his world tour in South Africa. Read More »
Add your review
Ciara’s sixth studio album has beat and sex appeal but lacks heart. Read More »
Add your review
South AfricaCity Press
Johannesburg CBDResourcing Solutions
HousesR 6 900 000
HousesR 7 200 000
HousesR 3 220 000