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BAMBARA

Bambara

Love On My Mind

    With ‘Love on My Mind’ - the six-song mini-album, mixed by Claudius Mittendorfer (Tennis, Parquet Courts, Johnny Marr) - Bambara condense all the energy and darkness that have made them so compelling and rearrange it into something defiantly new.

    Opening track, ‘Slither in the Rain’, all hissing high-hat and spectral synthlines, is a true statement of intent. It’s minimal and atmospheric, foregrounding Bateh’s raw vocals as he introduces one of ‘Love on My Mind’s main characters years after the events of the album are over, a lonely man who throws bottles at airplanes and dances a two-step in the pattern of a figure-8. While Bateh has always been adept at character sketches, tracks like ‘Slither’ introduce a newfound vulnerability that runs true through the entire album and cause the songs to hit on a more human level.

    Similarly, ‘Point And Shoot’ - in which each stanza describes the louche, lawless scenes of “rooftop girls / standing shoulder-to-shoulder, naked figures with their hips / cocked,” busted up jaws, and couches full of burnholes captured by the snapshots of ‘Love on My Mind’s female lead - displays an autobiographical intimacy that is not as apparent in Bambara’s previous releases. This tenderness is echoed on ‘Birds’, a rare love song (from which the EP’s title is derived), and album closer ‘Little Wars’, a gripping finale of loneliness and isolation.

    But while these songs may display a softer side of Bambara, it’s important to note that they haven’t lost the thrill of what attracted so many people to them in the first place. ‘Mythic Love’ (featuring vocals from Bria Salmena), with its driving bassline and ricocheting guitar lines, brings to mind past rave-ups like ‘Serafina’ and ‘Sunbleached Skulls’ but obliterates them in the process, while ‘Feelin’ Like A Funeral’ - a dangerously oscillating tale of a city knifing - is probably the most thrillingly anthemic song the band have ever recorded.

    Taken together, ‘Love on My Mind’ amounts to another massive step forward for Bambara - the boldest thing they’ve ever done - and the sound of yet another breakthrough.

    “Engrossing, dark and irresistible… an adventurous group, who just keep getting better all the time.” - CLASH

    “Never anything less than captivating.” - Upset

    “What Athens, Georgia bunch Bambara do, they do very well… the trio’s commitment to the dark side is never in question.” - DIY

    “Bambara are ice cold and sharp as a knife’s edge.” - Loud & Quiet

    “Brooklyn based doom-mongers delight… the trio go further than most in their quest to rattle.” - Q (4/5)

    For fans of Daughters, Protomartyr, IDLES, King Krule, Ice Age.

    TRACK LISTING

    Slither In The Rain
    Mythic Love
    Birds
    Point And Shoot
    Feelin’ Like A Funeral
    Little Wars

    Bambara

    Shadow Of Everything

      Released in 2018 to widespread critical acclaim, Bambara’s Shadow On Everything represented a decisive step forward for twin brothers Reid and Blaze Bateh – frontman and drummer, respectively – and their childhood friend, bassist William Brookshire. While prior to its release they had always been adept students of noise rock and post-punk, mining the work of bands like Swans and The Birthday Party to construct what NPR called “beautifully dynamic nightmares,” on Shadow they boldly redefined their sound to create an album that clearly transcended their early influences and dramatically quickened the pace of their ascent from the underground. Consistent with their frenetic live set, the musical center of Shadow On Everything is Bambara’s impossibly tight rhythm section, with Blaze’s manic drumming and William’s rock-steady basslines serving as the perfect canvas for Reid’s wild guitar squalls and howled vocals.

      But the album’s recording marked the first time that Reid’s voice was pushed to the front of the mix, highlighting the damaged characters and seedy locales that interact and overlap throughout its 12 songs. A stridently experimental record, Shadow features everything from violin to saxophone arrangements, and is meticulously interspersed with outré ambient noise loops distilled down from hours of manipulated vocal collages. Just two years after its release Shadow On Everything may seem like it was the logical next step for a band with experimental and punk origins that would go on to construct the intricate compositions displayed by its follow up Stray. In fact, Shadow memorializes Bambara putting everything on the line because they knew they could be more than what anyone may have seen in them up to that point in time.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Dark Circles
      2. Doe-Eyed Girl 
      3. José Tries To Leave
      4. Night’s Changing 
      5. Monument 
      6. The Door Between Her Teeth
      7. Human Hair
      8. Steel Dust Ocean
      9. Sunbleached Skulls
      10. Wild Fires
      11. Backyard
      12. Back Home


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