Downtempo electro-soul trio Jabu max out their emotional quota on debut LP Sleep Heavy for Blackest Ever Black

Downtempo electro-soul trio Jabu max out their emotional quota on debut LP Sleep Heavy for Blackest Ever Black

I don’t know what it is about Bristol — and I won’t pretend to assume that this describes the whole of the city’s music scene — but there must be something in the cider/about the lifestyle there that sends budding musicians along a trajectory of sullen, soulful expression. Of course, it was Massive Attack and Portishead who initially put Bristol on the map of musical moodiness, but it’s been quite a while since Blue Lines first made international waves for its variously-influenced coolness, and one might’ve wondered the extent to which that city-specific sound would persist. Then, boom: here comes the new, Bristol-based trio Jabu, readily evincing their base in South West England…with precisely ZERO shits-given as to of how well or poorly certain geographic-dependent genre labels might have aged in the intervening years.

Subsequent to establishing connections with the local Young Echo collective, Alex Rendall, Jasmine Butt, and producer Amos Childs have announced Sleep Heavy, their first full-length album as Jabu. It’s out September 22 on Blackest Ever Black, and you can pre-order it now on vinyl, CD, and digital.

Oh, and, in case you had any lingering doubts, the video for the album track “Let Me know” (watchable below) confirms that we shouldn’t expect an obvious throwback to 90s musical trends; instead, I’m hearing a clear presence in this decade, as the shared vocals from Rendall and Butt sound like a more affecting 18+. Likewise on that front, don’t expect much in the way of lyrical sunshine. (Do, however, look forward to this probably awesome release! I keep listening to “Let Me Know” despite how it makes my mascara look.)

Sleep Heavy tracklisting:

01. Let Me Know
02. Tomb
03. Get
04. Fool If
05. Bones
06. On
07. Searc
08. Wounds
09. Which Way
10. Lay You Down
11. Give

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