New Zealand reggae-soul heavyweights The Black Seeds return with their highly-anticipated new studio album Dust And Dirt, set for release in North America on April 10th through the trailblazing label Easy Star Records. Dust And Dirt is the fifth studio album from the Wellington-based multi-platinum selling group whose unique brand of reggae-funk fusion has seen their fan base spread around the world in recent years. Easy Star will also be re-issuing The Black Seeds' celebrated back catalog on the same day, with two of the titles (On The Sun and Into The Dojo) seeing their first-ever physical release on the continent.
The band is following up on their critically acclaimed 2009 album Solid Ground, which was hailed as "...a damn fine record...thick, bottom-heavy, and melodic" by The Huffington Post and "...the forefront of reggae today and tomorrow" by JamBase. The album debuted in the top 15 on the Billboard Reggae Chart and also spent 8 consecutive weeks in the 'Top 10' of CMJ's World Music Chart, and five weeks in the overall 'CMJ Top 200.'
Dust And Dirt comes off the back of a two-year creative process, which saw the band approaching song writing and recording duties in new ways.
"Working in our own studio gave us the freedom to get the best out of ourselves over a longer period of time, and to trial new techniques and tones with our own Mike Fabulous at the controls," says singer/guitarist Barnaby Weir.
Dust And Dirt introduces new sounds and styles not heard on the previous releases whilst still retaining the trademark Black Seeds sound the band has become so known for. "Cracks In Our Crown," "Loose Cartilage," and "The Bend" all take the experiments with funk begun on Solid Ground in even further directions. "Donât Turn Around" finds the band doing a fresh take on a disco-boogie jam full of old school funk and plenty of bouncy playfulness. The opener "Out Of Light" sounds different from anything the band has tried before, tipping into an almost psychedelic pop sound, while roots gems like "Love Me Now" and the title track remind listeners that The Black Seeds are still one of the finest classic reggae bands in the business. "Pippy Pip," the bubbly, upbeat first single, which the band built by layering over a demo that had such a cool vibe that they never re-recorded the original parts, will be available for a limited time as a free download from www.theblackseeds.com starting February 27th. All of these new styles are brought into the mix in a natural way, without forcing sounds, letting the songs be mini-experiments that organically evolved. In all, Dust And Dirtâs 13-tracks are testament to a band at the top of their game, reveling in their newfound creative freedom.
Formed in 1998 and led by the soulful vocals of Barnaby Weir and Daniel Weetman, The Black Seeds' sound is a boundary-crossing fusion of dub, funk, afro-beat and soul, mixed with vintage reggae. As songwriters, importance is placed on maintaining their own original interpretations in their music and staying true to their own local culture and values â from the landscapes and coastlines of New Zealand and the South Pacific, to the urban communities of Wellington city.
Onstage, the band's ability to connect with its audience has seen The Black Seeds gain a reputation for their dynamic and supremely danceable eight-piece live shows. Effortlessly gliding between big-beat funk and deep roots-reggae, the raw energy of The Black Seeds' live show is infectious and has gotten them regular performances at many of Europe, Australia, and New Zealandâs biggest music festivals. With their upcoming North American tour kicking off in April, The Black Seeds are ready to keep building their profile and performing in front of new audiences. Donât miss them in a city near you!
"We are really psyched to be working with The Black Seeds again, both on Dust And Dirt and their back catalog. They are a perfect Easy Star band: they have a deep understanding and feel for the roots and foundation of reggae, while relentlessly pushing their music in new soulful, funky and progressive directions - and they put on an amazing live show!" states Easy Star co-founder Lem Oppenheimer. "We canât wait for their NY show, which will be our first chance to see them in person in two years."
The Black Seeds
Dust And Dirt