Boston-via-Ethiopia ten-piece Debo Band are rapidly becoming one of our favourite new groups. They refer to themselves as a “groove collective” but we won’t hold that against them, because their acutely contemporary take on Ethio-pop-meats-afrobeat is as entertaining as pretty much anything we’ve heard this year.
‘And Lay’, the latest track to materialise from their forthcoming debut album, seems to take its cues as much from North America as from East Africa, with a funk-inflected structure complemented by trebly, afrobeat guitars. But it’s the horn section that is the lynchpin here, propulsive and tight, and just rough enough to give a sense that it could all fall apart with little warning.
Debo Band’s self-titled debut is out on Sub Pop next month. Download ‘And Lay’ below, and listen to ‘Asha Gedawo’ over here.