Alongside attention grabbing live performances, seven piece party-reggae collective Shanty stirred up plenty of attention earlier in the year with their first single Blackout. Now the UK band release their highly anticipated debut EP Leave Me Out, a four track creative stomp fusing classic roots reggae with soul, hip hop, and many more enticing flavours.
Hailing from northwest London, Shanty has through their tantalising and inventive sound found themselves appearing at the likes of Glastonbury, Boomtown Fair, Secret Garden Party, and Leopallooza, with equal success and acclaim coming through the sharing of stages with the likes of The Skints, Prince Fatty, and Neville Staple of The Specials. Blackout kicked open a wider awareness of the band with its eagerly received release but it is through the fascinating Leave Me Out that you feel Shanty is poised to leap into the strongest spotlight.
The EPs title track sets things off , its opening blaze of heat from trombonist Ross Moore and trumpeter Kenneth Brown a coaxing wind to which the choppy temptation of Sam Raywood’s guitar, aided by the dark tones of Jake Butler’s bass, provides a more intimate enticing. Soon settled into a relaxed and magnetic stroll, the bass becomes more creatively vocal as the keys of Mindaugas Juozapavicius flirt with the imagination and beats of Luke Bunce keep the pace even and controlled. The song fully comes alive with the final thread of its seductive weave, the fine vocals of Ben Willis. Quietly but inescapably infectious, the track is unafraid to leave its core reggae bred canter to explore electronic corners and intriguing sonic exploration before returning with renewed energy and enterprise into its masterful embrace. With the vocals of Willis especially tantalising in the superb gentle swagger of the track, it is a riveting start to the release.
Bohemian Soul steps in next to continue the EPs strong persuasion. With a resourceful swing to its canter and flickers of dub temptation which reminds of Ruts DC, it is a warm and contagious seduction. Keys and brass swiftly immerse ears into the heat of the song’s sultry climate whilst vocals and rhythms work on the imagination and feet respectively, everything resulting in a thoroughly engaging and intrigue adventure matched straight away by the excellent Rise Up. Casting an anthemic lilt to its swirling enterprise and melodic temptation, the track spins a soulful tapestry of genre fusing sounds with a rich smouldering climate of reggae expression veined by a gloriously pulsating dub crafted resonance.
The EP is brought to a close by the shadow kissed creative spell of One More, the song a cinematic noir hued romance for the senses which simply radiates flirtatious melodies and seductive brass flames across a canvas of delicious dark bass suggestiveness and shimmering keys. It is a spellbinding encounter enriched by the excellent expressive vocals of Willis and the understated yet potent teasing of guitar from Raywood, not forgetting the jabbing weight of Bunce.
Leave Me Out is a tremendous proposition from a band which can only get stronger and more innovative going by the craft and potential locked inside the EP. Shanty is going to be big, mark our words.
The Leave Me Out EP is available now on CD @ http://tinyurl.com/kxerkn2 and digitally at most major stores.
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