This week we welcome Hejira to the Twistedsoul guest playlist series.
The London-based band recently announced their second album Thread Of Gold which arrives on February 22nd via their own Lima Limo Records.
The upcoming LP follows the release of their acclaimed 2013 debut LP Prayer Before Birth on Matthew Herbert’s Accidental Records, and EPs on Accidental and Floating Points’ Eglo Records.
Towards the end of last year, the band shared the first glimpse of the new record with the ‘Ribs’ EP which featured remixes from Portico Quartet and Deep Throat Choir and the band’s rework of The Invisible track ‘What Happened’. The trio recently shared their new single Joyful Mind.
For their playlist, the band has put together a beautiful selection of tracks that have consciously and unconsciously influenced the upcoming album.
The magical playlist includes everything from Prince, David Bowie, Talk Talk, Joni Mitchell, Talking Heads and a whole lot more.
Press play and enjoy below!
The Homeless Wanderer – Emahoy Tsegue
Emahoy Tsegue is an Ethiopian nun living in Jerusalem and a recently discovered gem. Her style of playing is so unique and quirky and her compositions very mystical. We feel this piece of music is the perfect soundtrack to Ethiopia when reflecting it’s tumultuous history, people and natural beauty.
Shadows And Light – Joni Mitchell
Joni has always been an inspiration to us in every way, throughout all of our projects. ‘Shadows And Light’ is a song that always pulls us in, we just love the vocal arrangement.
Sometimes it Snows in April – Prince
Prince will always be at the top of our list of all-time favourite songwriters. He found a way, to sum up all of the complex emotions of loss in this one song.
Tezeta – Mahmoud Ahmed
Tezeta is a popular ballad style of music in Ethiopia, and Mahmoud Ahmed is the legend who is known to be the best at performing them. We brought back many of his cassette tapes from our trip out there.
Africa – D’Angelo
D’Angelo will always be an inspiration. We love voodoo, and we will forever love this song.
Wegene – Asnequech Werku
We love her voice against the krar (string instrument), and the melodic repetition and phrasing are typical of traditional Ethiopian folk styles, a really nostalgic piece of music for us.
Blackstar – David Bowie
David Bowie passed away whilst we were in Addis Ababa, right at the beginning of this journey of searching and trying to understand grief. ‘Black Star’ is an inspirational track and album that will always be tied to our time in Ethiopia.
Tezeta (Nostalgia) Mulatu Astatke
Mulatu has written some of the most famous EthioJazz music. We like his take on Tezeta. It’s gently romantic but conceals a bit of the charming qualities of traditional Ethiopian music.
This Must Be The Place – Talking Heads
We were inspired to explore new positive energies in our music partly through listening to this track by Talking Heads.
Myrrhman – Talk Talk
Journalists would often site Talk Talk as an influence on our music before we’d heard of them! Since then we’ve been checking them out and we don’t mind the comparison at all…one of our particular favourites is their Laughing Stock record which this track is pulled from.
Chimacum Rain – Linda Perhacs
Linda Perhacs is a recent discovery of ours, despite the fact that she was making music in the 60s. Her particular sense for melody, her use of found sounds, and her incredible voice are all reasons why we connect with her music.
So Long Eddy – Eska
Had to include a song from one of our London foremothers Eska. This might be our favourite track off her beautiful debut album. Sam from Hejira also had the privilege of playing on some other tracks on the record along with London greats Dave Okumu, Tom Skinner and others.
In Retrograde – The Invisible
Now a track by our London big brothers The Invisible. They’ve always been hugely supportive to us and remain one of our favourite bands on the globe. Something magical happens in the last minute of this tune that takes ones breath away.
It’s Raining Today – Scott Walker
Ahh man… too many reasons to love Scott Walker. The sound of these records is something else though! And the intimacy with which he sings, and his unique lyrics have been a continual source of inspiration.
You can catch Hejira live on March 7th at Oslo – more info here.