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Monday, May 17, 2010
If you haven’t heard about Opensouls, this exciting collective of New Zealand artists which includes the individual talents of Tyra Hommond and Julien Dyne then you’re seriously missing out.
We first heard about them ourselves via The Red Bull Music Academy Blog. Here’s what they said below – by the way the final track ‘Telephone Song‘ is our favourite with a clever video to boot!!
Opensouls sophomore LP Standing In the Rain (which dropped in New Zealand last August) has just been re-released on German indie label Jakarta Records, distributed in Europe via Grooveattack.
The sound of this Auckland (and occasionally Wellington)-based group has changed plenty since the mid-’00s. Swaggering Rhodes-tinged jams and raps have made way for a dose of upbeat soul revivalism, daubed with the powerful vocals of miss Tyra Hammond – a switch in direction evidenced by their EP in ‘07 on UK label Mukatsuku.
The Opensouls line-up (in good old-fashioned kiwi style) has morphed and reconfigured into various side projects since they formed in ‘02, but is currently composed of seven members including Academy alumni Jeremy Toy aka OTA on guitar, Isaac Aesili on trumpet, and the irrepressible Julien Dyne on drums.
Look to the band members’ solo projects for more explicit evidence of their longstanding jazz, hip hop and digital soul leanings – like Isaac’s recent debut solo LP Eye See or Julien’s Pins & Digits on BBE. Julien’s currently on tour in Europe with Ladi6 (who happens to be Tyra’s cousin). Check the tour dates here.