4:00 AM

For anyone who has ever said nothing good happens at 4 a.m., here is proof that they’re wrong. This is an album packed with groove to spare. It’s a toe-tapping, dance-inducing powerhouse from this power-roots trio based out of Paris. Sung mostly in Creole, the music has the drive of a variety of cultural touchpoints — from the Caribbean to Mississippi blues down into New Orleans. “The blues is not sad music,” said Pascal Danae, the group’s singer, songwriter and guitarist, in a press packet. “They might be talking about terrible conditions, about terrible losses, but the bottom line is hope.” Even with a language barrier, all of this shines through on 4:00 AM. On the first single off the album, “Assez Assez,” which means “enough, enough,” Danae’s voice wails and pleads over a hard-driving groove. The song is said to capture the tragedy of immigrants dying at sea while trying to reach a new home. It’s just one example of Danae’s depth and point of view. The band takes its name from Louis Delgrés, a Creole officer in the French Army who died in Guadeloupe fighting against Napolean’s Army. Danae’s parents emigrated from Guadeloupe to Paris before he was born, but he still closely identifies with the struggles of the region. It rings throughout songs about pain, struggle and freedom, but even these heavy topics cannot suppress the joy and hope that rise above the struggle chronicled in this music.

On Sale Now
May 2021
Shabaka Hutchings
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