Monday, March 28, 2011

The Very Best-The Warm Heart of Africa

Being a music blogger, it's sometimes easy to feel the need to "be first" with the artists and songs that appear on your blog. It's a rat race, and a dumb one at that. And while this song has apparently been out for a cool minute, it's only been brightening my days for the past few weeks or so. And no matter how many loops around the blogosphere track it has done, that doesn't make it any less of a jamandahalf.

While winter stubbornly refuses to fully release spring from its cold fingers, this jam has been doing its best to flirtatiously tease me with promises of future sun and sand. The Very Best is a collabo between Malawian artist Esau Mwamwaya and the London DJ/Production duo Radioclit. Esau moved to London from his native Malawi in 1999 to try and make a better life for himself. He opened up a junk store that was randomly visited by Etienne Tron, half of Radioclit, the rest being history. Coming together with the Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koening (the lead singer of the band that owes a serious debt of gratitude to Afropop) resulted in this track, one that strolls down the street like the most popular kid on the block, an indisputable hint of groove in every step. Esau and Ezra take turns, with Esau crooning in his native language, Chichewa, while Ezra lays down a repeating chorus. Esau's voice is the clear star in this song. Bold and warm, his verses seem to capture all your attention; well, whatever attention remains that's not focused on getting your best boogie on. Like Esau's old shop, sometimes you miss gems amidst junk. But when you find them, like this one, they shine just as bright as if you were the first person in the world to see them.

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