I’m posting on the new, self-titled record from Halifax hip hop outfit The Caravan under the Friday Fun banner because moreso than most current albums, hip hop or otherwise, this is an incredibly fun listen. It is also much more than that, but in these extremely misanthropic hip hop times, if you offer me a platter of well-made, extremely listenable hip hop with a positive, thoughtful outlook, I’ll likely bite your hand off to get it.
Infectious. That would be the word that came to mind most often as I’ve been listening to The Caravan over last couple days. The music found throughout the record, created via mostly live instrumentation and some timely samples by the group’s man on the mic, MC Kyle Mckenna (also credited with playing the banjo) and his multi-instrumentational compadres Mike Ritchie and Mark Bachynski is consistently interesting and enjoyable throughout. McKenna has a commanding presence on the mic, and a melodic, on-beat flow that hearkens back to a bygone era that makes him a pleasure to listen to. I’ve compared him to a slightly-less-baritone version of Chali 2na in a past post, which is high praise in my book.
The songs themselves range from party-time mic-wreckers (Flex The Flow) to thoughtful takes on self-expression (Words That Make You Feel Good, with it’s viral, award-winning video)), introspection (Ghost In Your Heart) and social issues (The delightful, Harper-bashing What Up Steve?, Pros and Cons), all while keeping a head-nodding vibe throughout. The group also expands their sound with welcome musical and vocal contributions from Halifax musicians like Ria Mae, Becky Siamon, Mary-Grace Koile, Selah Koile, Kris Pope, Ian Sherwood, Matt Myer and Hermit of the Woods.
So give this one a try ASAP, it’s ten songs of perfect weekend listening. I’m guessing you’ll give it lots of play throughout the rest of the week once you give it a go.