Exploring the “Strange Little Human” EP brought to you by Shanty
Today, I’d like to present to you Shanty, a London-based Reggae band led by Benjamin Willis and Grime MC Levi Gordon. They have just released a brand-new 5-track EP entitled “Strange Little Human” that we’re going to dive into.
Do you feel alive?
The EP is introduced by a Roots Reggae song titled “Pressure”. Technically, this track is irreproachable. It starts with a vibrant intro, driven by an exalted horn section. It’s a deep track, in which they highlight the fact that one could be so caught up in a system imposed by the model of our society and actually forget to enjoy life.
“The years go by. You try to put a little money aside. Wait for your rainy days, even though it’s never clear. Life burns slowly. Problems growing. Inside this pressure cooker, do you feel alive?”
We’re going from nowhere to nowhere…
The next track, “Nowhere To Nowhere” describes a loveless derailing world where violence is common. This decadence is emphasized at the end of the track as the horns are played in diminuendo. In the continuity of “Pressure”, Levi Gordon evokes the absence of freedom one might feel. I guess, we could dare to say that they’re describing a world ruled by mental slavery.
“Emancipation, will I see it before I die. Oh my, oh my. I see monarchy’s on the pavement.”
You make me happy to be sad.
As the saying goes, the third’s always a charm. Musically, “Happy To Be Sad” is the most original track of the EP. It is a melting pot of sounds. The song incorporates ethereal synths, which seamlessly blends in with a bright echoing guitar resulting in a dreamy effect. It’s a nostalgic piece about a broken love story. Here, the reminiscence of a past relationship brings joy to the narrator who’s in a sorrow. It’s sad yet beautiful at the same time.
Caught up in a middle crossfire…
Up next, “Crossfire” is a delightful track with a jazzy vibe towards the end. The song is organized in a sort of call and response style. Levi delivers some fast rap and Benjamin replies with his soft and soothing vocals. This duality adds a lot of dynamism to the track. And overall, it’s a really catchy song.
“I fear for what he’ll tell me. I fear for what he knows.”
Why can’t I be the strange little human in me?
Last but not least, the EP is wrapped up by the title track “Strange Little Human”. A song, which highlights conformism. The track alternates between an uptempo Drum & Bass-oriented section and a slow-paced Rootsy part. The uneven tempo emphasizes the ambivalence that one can feel when she or he has to conform to the norm. Now, musically-speaking, the organ is terrific, especially this little lick that drops in before the tempo changes.
“Lay low and move humble in this jungle. […] I’m trying to be me, ain’t got space to breathe. […] I’m just trying to find my truth. […]Just a small complication that keeps on haunting me. Why can’t I save the little human in me?”
With Benjamin‘s soft vocals, the colorful and rich sound of the horns and organs, Shanty sets the mood for pensiveness and deep thinking. In this EP, Shanty sings about the pressure of the modern society, love and the ambivalent feelings it brings to our minds.
If you enjoyed this EP and want more music from Shanty do not hesitate to visit their official website: shantyband.com
01 – Pressure
02 – Nowhere To Nowhere
03 – Happy To Be Sad
04 – Crossfire
05 – Strange Little Human