London based group Southpaw are making an important contribution towards the music of a generation - they reassert that it can reach out into a deeper realm of ideas. ‘Out of Oak’ is their much-awaited EP. With four tracks and vast array of jazz and bass sounds, it harnesses the explosive energy of creation at its fullest. These boys are all under twenty, and seem to have poured into this EP every street lit walk home and unexpected glimmer of understanding that they’ve encountered growing up in the shapes of South London.
‘Dana’, the first track, is born out an appreciation and understanding of generosity. The way their parts build together sounds like the elation felt when, unexpectedly, something small reminds you of worldly beauty. They sound the Sanskrit mantra, ‘om mani padme hum’, a reminder to be in touch with yourself, to give back to the earth and to one another.
Still full of warmth from Dana, we’re plunged into the pulses of ‘Illio’, derived from the Greek word for sun, ‘helios’. With dancing bass and beautifully conducted crescendos they create an immediacy that calls you to listen with breath held.
‘Of Toronto and Dharma’ takes on an entirely new, yet complimentary feel for the EP. It is like the light of early morning. The song plays out a conversation that has only one voice, beautifully crafted by keys and vocals, but when the other parts come in with such energy that it’s more like a return than their first appearance.
To finish, ‘In Tallest Reeds’ gives this record the heart-felt and vibrant ending that it’s worked towards. It beckons you as it builds, and it builds fervently. Within its seven minutes, a number of different tracks unfold within it, each gaining in audible significance. This develops into an undercurrent of unified direction, as we feel each of these musicians take real joy in what they’re creating together.
This EP was written from that sacred point where meaning and music are symbiotic – the vibrations will send tingles through your whole body as its message resonates through your mind. ‘Out of Oak’ will leave you refreshed, rejuvenated, and reassured of a positive creative direction.
The members of Southpaw are also involved in other creative projects that have come to be of great significance to their local community. They value working together and seek to encourage expression from every individual, and while this can be heard throughout the EP, it is also materialised in their night ‘Steeze’ at the Honor Oak. This crammed pub brings together artists of varying experience, talents and ages in a place where they can truly learn from each other, where poets can jam with musicians and there’s no such thing as a ‘mistake’.
released August 31, 2012
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