Premiere: True Vibenation share new single You Don’t Love Me, announce AU tour
The Australian trio - known for their signature blend of afrobeats, hip-hop and electronica - are gearing up for a big 2020.
Header image by Bruno Marion.
Anyone with their finger on the international music pulse at the moment would know that afrobeats is having a bit of a renaissance period at the moment when viewed through a commercialised lens. The genre hasn't disappeared from the areas of which it grew - West Africa, south-east USA, Central America - but its popularisation within the 'western markets' - the rest of the US, the UK, Australia and so on - is having a rebound moment, ushered back into the spotlight thanks to a combination of artists putting out career-best music within the past six months: Burna Boy and Koffee two particularly strong highlights.
Afro-Australian group True Vibenation are a trio who have seen this rise and fall in popularity over the years, being a homegrown source of afrobeats - and its blend with westernised sounds, particularly electronica and hip-hop - for much of the past decade; their output over this time spanning full-length records right down to collaborations with some of electronic's most genre-leaping names, such as Haiku Hands. Take their last release, last year's No Way, for example. It's a tinkering, percussion-heavy moment that unites blaring brass and quick-paced rhythms with up-tempo hooks that teeter on the edge of pop, bringing together sounds and styles in a jigsaw-like formation in just four minutes.
Their new single, You Don’t Love Me (You Love My Guitar), is one that continues this, but at the same time, shines a brighter light on the rhythms and melodies that define afrobeats at its most simplistic. Based upon traditional Sungura music, the track unites a darting guitar melody with layers and layers of instrumentation that constantly move and switch between sounds: big, strong brass sections; trap-rap beat breakdowns; and tropical dancehall all packed into a catchy three-minutes-thirty that really encapsulates not just True Vibenation's sound, but the sound they're representing, and how it's changing and evolving in a new decade.
"It was all written in Zimbabwe while we were inspired and influenced by our surroundings," the group say on the track. "We were playing a festival there and afterwards hired an AirBnB in the capital (Harare). We were lucky enough to have some of the area’s best young musicians come through for recording sessions. We wanted to highlight the amazing talent that the country has to offer and also create something that reflects modern Zimbabwe as well as our Australian roots. Lyrically the song invites the fans to ‘look behind the curtain’ and see that their favourite musicians are regular humans too when the smoke and mirrors disappear."
The track also arrives with tour dates packing out the first quarter of their year, with a stock-standard run of shows across Australia joined by a couple of special shows and appearances bound to take True Vibenation's infectious rhythms and melodies to new audiences. Included within that is Adelaide institution WOMAdelaide, Launceston festival Party In The Paddock, and Amsterdam's King’s Day - with more European shows still to be announced.
Check them all out below:
SAT 1 FEB | OXFORD ART FACTORY, SYDNEY NSW
SAT 8 FEB | PARTY IN THE PADDOCK, LAUNCESTON TAS
SAT 15 FEB | TANKS ART CENTRE, CAIRNS QLD
FRI 21 FEB | INDIAN OCEAN HOTEL, SCARBOROUGH WA
SAT 22 FEB | JACK RABBIT SLIMS, PERTH WA
SUN 8 MAR | WOMADELAIDE, ADELAIDE SA
MON 9 MAR | WOMADELAIDE, ADELAIDE SA
MON 27 APR | KING’S DAY AT NOORDELICHT, AMSTERDAM NLD
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