Many groups, especially of late, strive to explore the syncopated musical stylings of Afropop or Highlife, and while some simply lift existing rhythms and flavors directly, others, like Slow Moses, ingest those elements, digest them thoroughly, and spit out a wholly unique sonic experience. It would be disingenuous to suggest that the band’s sole influences come from those musical traditions, however. Also weaved into the tapestry are pieces of psychedelic rock, lo-fi pop, and a touch of indie sensibilities – all of which result in 2016’s eclectic and hypnotic Charity Binge.
Packed with 13 incredibly distinct and complex tracks, Charity Binge feels like an experience. As a quintet, Slow Moses certainly has the instrumental depth, and the accompanying chops, to deliver sounds, rhythms and lyrics that won’t be found on the majority of albums being put out today. Some tracks, like “Fever Dream,” unfold methodically, layering instrumental sounds, vocals and challenging rhythms to create a hazy, restrained piece that eases its way through space. Immediately following is “Oh, Bembeya,” a tribute to Bembeya Jazz National, a Guinean Afropop jazz group that rose to prominence in the ‘60s and subsequently became one of the defining groups of Guinean music. Consciously dissimilar to “Fever Dream,” it deploys a catchy and bouncy guitar riff that rides the percussion and light vocals; that is, like any good tribute, the influence is clear, but Slow Moses again manages to put its own spin and flavor into the mix.
Throughout Charity Binge, Slow Moses takes nothing for granted. The attention to detail on each track is clear – and with five musicians filling the sonic space, the cleanliness of the instrumentals and the confidence with which each piece is executed, makes for a compelling musical journey. Although the album clocks in at nearly an hour, listening straight through is never a task. It’s a testament to the cohesive sound and collective vision that makes Slow Moses one of the more distinct acts on the scene today.»
– Charles Trowbridge
*Slow Moses plays Oct. 15 at Mississippi Studios opening for Califone. Tickets here.