New artist of the week: Nakhane
Plus songs you have to hear from O Emperor and Brame & Hamo
What: Actor, singer and LGBTQ trailblazer
Where: South Africa
Why: The 30-year-old mononymous performer recently starred in the South African film The Wound, which depicts male rite of passage rituals and gay relationships within the Xhosa community, South Africa’s second largest ethnic population.
Nakhane received death threats for his involvement, but he has developed a thick skin and a strong sense of self. Having spent some time struggling with his homosexuality in the past, not helped by his religious Xhosan upbringing, Nakhane had come through the other side and was able to cope with the intense vitriol.
Now based in London, Nakhane’s third album You Will Not Die was released earlier this year, and is the work of an artist who has embraced fearlessness.
You Will Not Die moves from 1980s-indebted synth pop atmospherics to tender balladry to a soulful spectrum of sound, all servicing a singer who is able to turn complex sentiments into dramatic music. It is an album about acceptance, self- belief and love, learned in the face of close-minded adversity.
You have to hear this...
O Emperor - New Fish Tank
A deliciously off-kilter track from the Cork-based Waterford band O Emperor is on offer for your ears. It’s a treat of slow-paced rock and meandering psychedelic tones that showcase’s the band’s development over the years from retro revivalists to modern guitar band. Dive in.
Brame & Hamo - Parade Rain
Tropical house is a term that has come to define a sound that uses the tropes of sunny melodies, steel drums and bright chords to conjure up something resembling a holiday. Unfortunately, the style has been ram-raided by pop
producers seeking their part in the zeitgeist and there’s a lot of substandard examples of it. Taking a much sleeker and deeper approach are the Berlin-based Sligo dance duo Brame & Hamo who have turned in a bouncy edifying take on the sound on their latest EP.