I touched on this group briefly the other day but as promised, Kitchen contributor, Brendan Philip delves a little deeper into their official debut album release, awE naturalE. The album is a monster, trust! Let Brendan explain exactly why he thinks so too:
It feels like it was almost three years ago that I was introduced to the music of Stasia Irons & Catherine Harris-White, better known as THEESatisfaction, by my dear friend and 88 Days collective founder/member, Leilani who was simply geeked to show me what these ladies were up to. I proceeded to sift through their bandcamp and became completely entranced by not only the sound of the music and vocal delivery, but also the overall tone of the subject matter. They touched on so many topics with a cool that you rarely find when people mesh art and political fare. It reminded me of how Curtis Mayfield could take socially conscious thoughts and still make you want to dance.
I could go into the various songs that I enjoy but we’re really here to discuss their debut full-length album, awE naturalE which is being released through Sub Pop Records, as a whole. If you’re not familiar with Sub Pop, they were the leading record label at the heart of the grunge rock scene rooted in the Pacific Northwest back in the early 90s. They seem to have come a long way since then with the signing of left-field ‘urban/hip-hop’ acts, THEEsatisfaction, Shabazz Palaces and Spoek Mathambo.
awE naturalE is a few different things all at the same time: funky, jazzy, literate and also a thorough-yet-brief project that I’ve kept on repeat since first getting it. It only runs about 30 minutes front to back but within that scant half-hour journey, the album totally wraps you within a world that is the sister universe to Shabazz Palaces’. Speaking of whom, Ish aka Plcr Lazaro of SP makes appearances on a couple tracks on awE naturalE that appear back-to-back as well.
Getting into a few specific tracks from the album, the lead-off single, “QueenS” took me for a bit of a loop, being that it’s so totally dance floor ready. Admittedly, I feel pretty dumb for saying this so I danced off my stupidity! It’s truly a valuable experience for people to share their many sides in their music like THEESatisfaction do. “Enchantruss” was the second glance into this thang. It’s also the second of the two songs Ish appears on and it really goes hard with its sub-bass kick drum, heavily manipulated vocal sample and menacing lead melody line. It is one of the standout, must-hear tracks from the album, especially with Cat’s June Tyson-esque vocal juxtaposed with the ill beat. I bring up these two tracks first because they really represent the yin-yang nature at the core of this album. awE naturalE is a well-balanced project that features insightful observations, necessary questions and also light nature (I had to do it…-__-).
My personal favorites on awE naturalE I could say are really all the songs, but just to lend further insight into the yin-yang nature of the album, the light principle is represented by tracks like: “Bitch”, “Existinct” and “Sweat” while the dark principle is embodied in tracks like “God”, “Deeper” and “Needs.”
There is tons more I could say about awE naturalE, but I feel like there is no better way to get to the heart of this thang than listening to it at a wretchedly high volume. Congratulations on releasing what will no doubt stand by year-end as one of the best albums of 2012, ladies!!!
Stream awE naturalE on NPR’s First Listen or when that link dies, hit the jump for a full preview of the album via Rdio or go cop the album on itunes.
88 Days Of Fortune interview THEESatisfaction: