Here's an album worthy of your attention. There's a good chance you've heard (and downloaded) the catchy ska tribute to Mandela that South African band Trenton and Free Radical gave away on Nelson Mandela Day a couple of years ago. And some of you will have spotted the video for Tomorrow's Day, featuring Maxi Jazz (a bonus for Faithless fans who've been missing the dude since that group disbanded).
The band has now released their debut album Giant Step, and the positive vibes from those two tracks runs through the entire album. Each track, whether laidback and easygoing (like the two above) or charged with anger (United Nations), performs a balancing act of head-bopping, accessible melodies and rhythms and conscious lyrics written to inspire music fans to think more about about social justice, brotherly love and our role in the world. The lightly-worn message of unity befits a band with a hybrid sound, fronted by songwriter Trenton Birch, a global citizen from Johannesburg who spent his early years in Kenya, Nigeria and the Middle East, moved to London to get some performing experience before moving back to South Africa and settling in Cape Town, where the group is now based. Rounding out the quartet are Thabo Mobo - Bass (South Africa), co-songwriter Marco MSG - Guitar (Ibiza, Spain), and Andre Swartz - Drums (South Africa).
Here are three more tracks from Giant Step for your enjoyment:
Whether you're a fan of Reggae, Dub, Afrobeats, Hip hop, Soul, Rock or Ska, you're going to find something in the mix to float your boat, and if you're in Cape Town in the next few weeks, try to see them live. They're performing on the 17th and 24th.
Giant Step is available on iTunes and Amazon.
Also stop by Trenton's foundation, Breathe Sunshine, which raises funds to build schools and community centres in South Africa's previously disadvantaged neighbourhoods.