The Beast + Big Band ready new EP, Gardens, out Oct. 22 | Music
Music
INDY Week's music blog

Archives | RSS

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Beast + Big Band ready new EP, Gardens, out Oct. 22

The Beast adds a little orchestra

Posted by on Wed, Oct 9, 2013 at 10:27 AM

1372874050-beast_bigband_new_sample.jpg

For a few years now, Durham's The Beast have thrilled Triangle crowds, using sometimes rather smooth jazz as an unlikely propulsion for restless, forward-thinking hip-hop. Since 2012, they've augmented that sound for a few gigs with their Big Band, a 13-strong configuration that includes orchestral players from the consistently ambitious New Music Raleigh and members of other popular groups, including Peter Lamb & the Wolves and Lost in the Trees. Together, they've opened for Nnenna Freelon, the Grammy-nominated mother of Beast MC Pierce Freelon, and hit the Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival. Building on this success, they entered Durham’s Sound Pure Studios in early January to record Gardens, a four-song EP named for Duke University's annual "Music in the Gardens" series, where the Big Band played their first gig. Out on Oct. 22, it's the Beast's first release since 2011's Guru Legacy EP.

As you might expect, lead single "Cost of Living" (streaming below) promises a more expansive sound than previous Beast efforts. The 13 musicians tracked each song live without overdubs, playing off the chemistry they built during a year of shows and rehearsals. Here, the ensemble conjures soothing grandeur through undulating bass and keys, countering softly swaying strings and horns. Grooves emerge and decay. Freelon sings more than he raps, his adequate pipes elevated by an unflinching anthem for college graduates in poverty: "My education wasn't meant to be my execution," he moans, "but this student loan, it feels just like a guillotine."

The Beast + Big Band will celebrate the release Oct. 24 at Durham's Motorco Music Hall. Following that performance, the group's core quartet will enter the studio to cut another four-song EP with a more electric feel. They hope to release it before the end of the year.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Music



Twitter Activity

Comments

Hello everyone here I am jerey williams from canada but base in the united states of America /california I promised …

by jeremy williams on Art of Cool Festival, Night One: Revive Big Band's Music-History Concert Leaves Out Women to an Absurd Degree (Music)

I was proud to call him Uncle Willy cousin with the same birthday

by Blackfoot on Proud to call him Lumbee: Willie French Lowery, 1944-2012 (Music)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Most Recent Comments

Hello everyone here I am jerey williams from canada but base in the united states of America /california I promised …

by jeremy williams on Art of Cool Festival, Night One: Revive Big Band's Music-History Concert Leaves Out Women to an Absurd Degree (Music)

I was proud to call him Uncle Willy cousin with the same birthday

by Blackfoot on Proud to call him Lumbee: Willie French Lowery, 1944-2012 (Music)

Revive is my people. If folks were offended by this, I can assure you it wasn't intentional. Revive Music was …

by Matthew Allen on Art of Cool Festival, Night One: Revive Big Band's Music-History Concert Leaves Out Women to an Absurd Degree (Music)

Small crowds like the one in Utrecht The Netherlands where I was with my 7 year young daughter may be …

by George Hendriks on The blues of Randall Bramblett's career-long cult status—and the promise of his new Devil Music (Music)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation