Sinkane’s new record, Dépaysé, speaks in voices that demand to be heard. The album’s title is a French word with no clear English definition, rather a feeling in unfamiliar surroundings: out of one’s element: displaced. As a Sudanese-American and an immigrant to the states, Sinkane — born Ahmed Gallab — has been forced to wrestle with this feeling. On Dépaysé, Sinkane speaks for the countless others who make up the true fabric of America, yet whose existence here is constantly challenged by a regime that refuses to acknowledge their basic humanity.
The album is, like much of Sinkane’s discography, a homogenized blend of international rock, funk, and soul, orchestrated here in some of his largest arrangements yet. The choir and horn sections lend an energy to the album that often eclipses Sinkane’s own voice, which tends to feel thin in comparison, taking a back-seat to the music. Still, there’s a frankness to his lyrics, more straightforward than poetic, which carries such an overwhelming positivity that it’s hard not to stand up and dance with him.