Pop & Hiss video debut: Swahili Blonde’s ‘Purple Ink’
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You know that piece of commencement advice so frequently passed on to high-school graduates -- say yes to everything? That’s essentially the M.O. of ‘Purple Ink,’ the new single from the L.A. afro-dub-postpunk, etc. entity Swahili Blonde, fronted by Nicole Turley and a large cast of collaborators (including Turley’s husband, ex-Red Hot Chili Pepper John Frusciante). It’s off the band’s forthcoming second album, ‘Psycho Tropical Ballet Pink,’ the first for Turley’s new label Neurotic Yell. There are Saharan desert blues licks that barely snag onto the backbeat; smatterings of filtered-out percussion that could come from the Caribbean in the distant future or from bombed-out East Berlin in the ‘80s; and enough reverb to drown midsize animals.
And that’s not even getting to the video, which debuts here. For the video, directed by Burke Roberts, imagine ‘Donnie Darko’ if, instead of being whacked by a falling jet, he’d instead woken up in Freak City and taken a bunch of sketchy pills badly cut with NoDoz and Pixy Stix. The band plays the Echo’s Monday residency next month; start hoarding all dubiously legal stimulants right now.
-- August Brown
Update: Nicole Turley is the sole owner of Neurotic Yell. An earlier version of this post listed Frusciante as co-owner.