Freshlyground - Nomvula

2007-05-14 18:08

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

Made up of diverse selection of 7 musicians from SA, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, Freshlyground represent a new African positivity in music. They were formed in 2002 and released their debut Jika Jika in 2003. Nomvula (which means "After the rain") is their second album.

Widad 2005/07/14 9:46 AM
Freshly Ground - Nomvula I know Doo be Doo pretty well by now. GREAT STUFF. I was so surprised to find out that it was actually South African! I must say our music here sounds so good that it should be marketed overseas. I hope this "fresh" group makes it across the borders... Mariah Carey's - Emancipation of Mimi
Nkululeko Zeyo 2005/07/14 10:09 AM
Nomvula it let me feel that i'm an African
Dean 2005/07/14 10:40 AM
Freshly ground This has got to be the worst cd I have heard and as for the Doo be Doo song this is the most irratating song I have ever heard. I guess there is no acquiring for taste. no
Lily 2005/07/14 11:15 AM
Doo be doo Doo be doo is not my favourite song on the CD (and it is a good CD !), but it is not a bad track, in a preachy sort of way. There's much better stuff on Nomvula though. Valiant Swart - Deur die Donker Vallei
maggie gouws 2005/07/14 11:42 AM
Gugu Gumede 2005/07/14 3:56 PM
The CD as a whole It's such a hit, Lord! I lack words to explain the magnificant work that went into it. Freshly Ground you guyz Rock! Most DEF!
Lana 2005/07/14 4:17 PM
Miss their new song as heard first on 94.7 thanks to Jeremy Mansfield. Malaika
Hans Schulte 2005/07/14 4:44 PM
Awesome SA music It is so great to know that finally our extensive SA musical talent is making it's way into the mainstream. I cant stop wanting to listen to this excellent South African production. Well worth the buy and try!
Galinea 2005/07/18 12:32 PM
Mr Up there with my favourite albums of all time. Seriously.
Lebohang 2005/08/03 1:41 PM
Nomvula Love the track dedicated to her mother. first heard about Freashly Ground on Kaya FM it was the CD of the week and i must say enjoyed all the songs that were played everyday. thanks to Kaya FM i am now a big fan of Freashly Ground. Good work guys.
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