Thao & the Get Down Staydown


We the Common Ribbon Music ***

Thao Nguyen has come a long way. The innocent freewheeling and strumming on 2008’s We Brave Bee Stings and All led to a more knowing awareness on Know Better Learn Faster a year later. Now, nearly four years on and with time off from touring and recording to refresh her, Nguyen’s lyrical concerns have become more communal. It’s not quite “who are the people in your neighbourhood?”, but Nguyen is seeking to reflect what community does for a person’s well-being and sense of place. Musically, she and her band are sharp operators, throwing playful shapes without watering down the songs’ micro- political edge. The title track is a key link in Nguyen’s new thought process, but the likes of Holy Roller and Kindness Be Conceived (a duet with Joanna Newsome) are also important markers to a new direction.

  Download:We the Common, Holy Rollers

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