Using the pace, rhythms and triumphant horns of afrobeat, the idea of New Believers is more than just the title of a record. It’s a necessity.
There’s never been more reason to take action, and yet sadly retweeting hashtags and copying status updates are just a new form of unknowing apathy. Lawr and his band challenge us, knowing that presence and determination can stop mega quarries and open dialog.
Before afrobeat was reduced to Fela aping melodies targeted at stoned hippies and their awkward dances, the infectious grooves gave the people a voice and asked them to rise up. The songs were born from the spirit of the people. Lawr honors this tradition, instead of stealing from it. Make no mistake, regardless of the origin of the sonic influences, these songs feel distinctly Canadian and focus on Canadian issues.
New Believers – a remarkable blend of indie folk stability and soaring tribal energy – is meant to motivate the masses, begging people to not only start listening, but to start thinking and demanding their voice be heard. We’re living in dangerous times.
If all we need is a spark, anthems like “Open the Doors” and “Sharper Knife” are the musical equivalent of throwing gasoline on the fire. The seemingly obvious notion that “we can only wake the giant, if we make some noise”, is the backbone of this record, and honestly, New Believers is the type of noise that Canada desperately needs right now.