Blackbird is the third full-length release from Fat Freddy’s Drop, the legendarily lively band from Wellington, New Zealand. Fat Freddy’s Drop's musical style has been called many things; from dub, to reggae, to soul, jazz or rhythm and blues, but never have I heard them called bad. Quite decent actually.
Originally a jam band, FFD formed in the late 90s by musicians from other bands in Wellington; The Black Seeds, TrinityRoots, Bongmaster, among others—for much of their 13-year career. These days, Fat Freddy’s Drop has emerged as the one best built for success and the band is well-known in New Zealand and Australia for their improvised shows. Songs on their studio albums evolve from the relentless re-workings and are often refined versions of their live jam sessions.
Featuring nine tracks, Blackbird was written and recorded at Bays, the band’s own studio, which was one of the last vinyl pressing plants in New Zealand and then an apostolic church. “Blackbird is truer to FFD's musical philosophy than anything else we've done”, says Chopper Reeds. “The song structures are open and unruly – just like our live shows – whilst we've pushed ourselves to deliver rich and deeply layered arrangements that showcase Joe Dukie's exceptional voice. We feel totally at home melding together this unholy mix of disco, rootsy dub, blues, soul and electronic funk – it's what we do.”
At 10am, I played this tune…