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Sinkane - Dépaysé (Album Review)

Monday, 10 June 2019 Written by Jacob Brookman

Photo: Daniel Dorsa

‘Dépaysé’ is a fantastical showcase of Afro-infused psychedelic indie-rock that demonstrates vaunting musical ambition, political awareness and immense talent in both its arrangement and composition.

The follow up to 2017’s ‘Life & Livin’ It’ finds Sinkane (aka Ahmed Gallab) with a renewed sense of ethical focus, here telling the story of an immigrant’s journey to the west, and the reception they get there.

Each of the nine tracks are excellent. We open with the fanfare-like Everybody, which hits many of the same superb marks seen on biggest hit to date, U’Huh.

Here, a raucous call-and-response vocal is paired with screaming rock guitar, swung rhythms and spiritual proselytising dealing with many of the injustices of modern America.

“On Judgement Day I’ll look God in the eye,” he preaches. “And I’ll ask why.” It's music that manages to convey very personal observations, with the narrative mirroring Gallab’s own story in settling in the US after being forced to flee Sudan, in a way that is relatable and detailed.

Gallab’s Muslim faith is at the centre of much of the lyric writing in an entirely non-obtrusive way that would vex even the most ardent MAGA cap wearer. “Our love’s for everyone,” he sings on the breathtakingly joyous Everyone, while the superb title track rests on the simple vocal of “Allah!”

The album offers many moments of simple human togetherness against a backdrop of complex socio-political division and faith-based mistrust. Gallab is an artist unafraid to offer a political standpoint—surprisingly rare in modern pop—but he is never cloying or tedious with his opinions. His is music that asks more questions than it answers.

The album’s title—French for ‘disoriented’—ties these themes together nicely. As with ‘Life & Livin’ It’, ‘Dépaysé’ channels some of the blaxploitation tropes popularised by Isaac Hayes and Bobby Womack in the 1970s. Social commentary sits alongside spiritual searching in a rich mélange of groovy fusion that makes the listener query complex themes while holding them in a loving embrace.

It’s a superb album, and one which should surely make its way onto year-end lists in December. It's world music in its truest sense, and Peter Gabriel is nowhere to be seen.

Sinkane Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue November 05 2019 - LONDON Jazz Cafe
Wed November 06 2019 - MANCHESTER Band on the Wall
Thu November 07 2019 - LEEDS Belgrave Music Hall
Fri November 08 2019 - BRISTOL Trinity Centre

Click here to compare & buy Sinkane Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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