UK jazz collective Nubiyan Twist has released a double dose of their signature brand of soul-filled goodness with their latest singles “Portraits” and “If Only.” The tracks remind some and hip others to the reasons why the Leeds-born, London-based 10-piece outfit has been touted as one of the most progressive and prolific bands across Europe.
Over a lively track with vibrant horns and a groovy bass line, “Portraits” features vocalist/flutist/composer Cherise and likens the emotions associated with life and love to colorful strokes on a canvas. Meanwhile, “If Only" takes things higher with its quickstep tempo and jazzy vibe. The track, which includes a stirring guitar solo by band member Tom Excell, captures the urgency of wondering what could have been while Ruby Wood sings of the yearning that lingers after a single loving encounter.
This soulful double-shot marks the band’s first release since their second studio album Jungle Run dropped in 2018. The celebrated project was crowdfunded by supporters, garnered over 1 million streams and featured guest appearances by AfroBeat pioneer Tony Allen and Ethiopian jazz legend Mulatu Astatke. Excell says the album is all about “connecting different people and cultures whilst exploring the journey of individuals” and describes it as the culmination of everything the band has done to date. He says the opportunity “to collaborate with the godfathers of Afrobeat and Ethio jazz and celebrate their music in a modern context was very humbling.”
Fans will be happy to learn that 2020 will bring about their third album, with more stellar collaborations and live shows. If “Portraits” and “If Only” are any indication of all that is in store, we look forward to a big year for the creative collective. Listen to Nubiyan Twist’s latest below, and scroll down to watch the live studio performance of “Portraits,” which was recorded at Henwood Studios in Oxfordshire, UK. Follow the dynamic group on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay tuned in for updates on the forthcoming album and 2020 tour dates.