Wednesday 22 August 2018

'Everything Here' by The Suffers

"What's our name?"

"And where are we from?"

If you ever have the opportunity to see The Suffers perform live - firstly, absolutely grab a hold of that opportunity - and secondly, be prepared to be asked that question throughout the night.  You'll learn the answers to both questions fairly early on, but Houston, Texas, is the answer to the latter question.  You'll be asked that because each member of The Suffers is incredibly proud of where they're from and it's an ethos that carries all the way through to their music, probably even more so on the new release, 'Everything Here'.

The self-proclaimed Gulf Coast Soul Band - a term used to describe the far-ranging mix of cultures and backgrounds that comprise the band’s members – have returned with 'their sophomore follow-up to their self-titled 2016 debut record.

Initially, formed in 2011 by Adam Castaneda and Pat Kelly in Houston, and envisaged as a reggae jam band, the inclusion of additional members along with the inclusion of Kam Franklin as lead vocalist shaped the overall sound into a more encompassing soul band.  And the result has worked wonders!

The independent release of The Suffers’ self-titled debut album spawned a fantastic year for them: performances on Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, as well as a performance on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Series, which for an independent soul act was a staggering achievement.  Now, having aligned with Shanachie Entertainment for 'Everything Here', the band look set to ascend to that next plateau.

While the debut record was home to gems like the rousing sing-along chorus of ‘Midtown’, the brilliant groove of ‘Dutch’ and the 7-minute soul-drenched opus of ‘Giver’, the new album blesses listeners with 'Everything Here', 'Do Whatever' and 'I Think I Love You' which are the catchy, high-energy floor-fillers now part of the band's signature sound; 'Sure to Remain' and 'After The Storm' (featuring a perfect guest spot from Lyle Divinsky) are sweet soul numbers and strong album highlights also. 

And then there's Houston, Texas.  Houston rappers, Bun B and Paul Wall, appear on the album's interludes, with the latter of which appearing on the album's opener 'Ode to Houston'.

The Suffers have become quite adept at making their music an extension of themselves as individuals and as a collective - they wear their influences, passions and motivations on their sleeves and have delivered another stunning work of a pure soul record and something that would enrich anyone’s musical collection.

Now ask yourself, "What's their name? And where they're from?"... listen to this record and you won't forget.

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