We talk a lot about the ills of the world through music — from the failings of our political systems to unfair power structures, racial and gender inequality and so many more issues than we can name in this article. Somehow, though, talk about the state of the environment is a fairly rare topic. Thankfully, Zimbabwean singer-songwriter Thabo aims to bring that much-needed conversation front and center with his upcoming EP Your Mama, which is due out this May. Ahead of the EP's arrival, he's giving us an exclusive early listen with the single "Shallow Water."
"Shallow Water" relays the lament of everybody's mother, Mother Nature, as she pleads with us to preserve her majesty for generations yet to come. Touching on topics such as scarcity and pollution in the song, he makes sure that his message is heard loud and clear. "Now here we are with this tainted air," he sings at one point as bass and piano quietly accompany him. "The abundant has become oh so rare / And now you walk around without a care / Wasting space and wasting time." He then hits us with the poignant, haunting chorus as piano and a ghostly harmony swirl to the song's surface. "Drownin' in shallow waters," he sings. "All in the name of progress / And look what your fortune's brought us / Oil and sawdust." It's a pretty damning indictment of the human race, but it's undeniably a real sentiment as the state of the environment continues to wane.
"'Shallow Water' is a timely and chilling account regarding our relationship with the only woman we all call MAMA on this planet, Mother Nature," Thabo says of the song. "It is that conversation where your mom first expressed deep disappointment in something you had done, in many ways that is the first time you knew what it was to break someone's heart."
Your Mama is set to arrive on May 4th and promises to a thoughtful exploration of our relationship to the world in which we live. He's already lined up two release shows in the UK — one on May 5th at Huddersfield's Vinyl Tap and another on May 9th at London's Rough Trade East — the info for which can be found here. Check out our world premiere of "Shallow Water" below.