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Sample Track 1:
"Clean the House" from Blackbird
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"Blackbird" from Blackbird
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Fat Freddy's Drop, Blackbird (The Drop/!K7) Fat Freddy’s Drop Fly into Deeper Realms of Dubbed-Out Funk on Blackbird

“Take the swagger of Jamaican dub, throw in a little Memphis soul and send it halfway down the globe, and what comes back? The band Fat Freddy's Drop.” –NPR

“Sexy electronic dub” –Wall Street Journal

Heavyweight soul providers Fat Freddy’s Drop take flight again with the worldwide release of Blackbird (The Drop/!K7; US release: July 9, 2013).

“Blackbird is truer to FFD's musical philosophy than anything else we've done”, says sax player Chopper Reedz. “The song structures are open and unruly, while we've pushed ourselves to deliver rich and deeply layered arrangements that showcase Joe Dukie's exceptional voice. We feel totally at home melding together this unholy mix of disco, rootsy dub, blues, soul and electronic funk. It's what we do.”

Featuring nine tracks, Blackbird was written and recorded at Bays, the band’s own studio, which was one of the last vinyl pressing plants in New Zealand and then an apostolic church,” electronics wizard Chris “Fitchie” Faiumu says, “What you hear on the album is the sound of Bays; the room itself, the vibe of the place and the performance we can get out of the band in there.”

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“We’ve absorbed a few influences along the way: Berlin Bashment, Portuguese Top Forty, Tooting Bhangra Beat and Montmartre TV Shop Techno Hi-Life,” laughs trumpet player Tony Chang.

Sponging up so many different styles came naturally to musicians growing up on a tiny patch of land whose local music scene lacked a strong, identifiable sound and embraced Black music. “I grew up listening to American Black music from the early ’70s,” Fitchie recalls, “loving soul music and loving jazz, and discovering reggae and hip-hop. That music wasn’t that developed here. I had to look offshore to find good music. And it mostly seemed to be African-American artists of the ’70s and ’80s.”

The draw of that music to Fitchie, a Samoan, played out the same for many other Pacific Islanders and indigenous Maori. In the music of Black America and early reggae, native Islanders found resonance in the lyrics of resistance and solidarity with their situation on the laid-back island. “Indigenous people drew parallels in the work of Bob Marley in their own struggle here in this country,” continues Fitchie. “Reggae is a music that suits the taste of life here. When you go to New York City, it’s a big change of pace for us. Reggae is good for our kind of island lifestyle.”

Fans who love Freddy for their easy roots reggae feel will find the newer grooves familiar, yet a welcome deepening of the band’s trademark, eclectic sound. Blackbird is the third full-length release from the New Zealand band and will see Fat Freddy’s Drop exceed half-a-million album sales worldwide, the result of playing over 800 shows in their career-to-date, clocking up 412 appearances in Europe, 27 Australian Tours and more than 300 shows in their homeland.

<< release: 07/09/13 >>