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Releasing their eighth studio album ‘Head Up High‘, well-known trip hop group Morcheeba called upon an impressive catalog of guest artists and unlikely influences to help craft their latest twelve track album, which seeps with spurned love and passive aggressive retribution.

The album features the eclectic talents of James Petralli of indie-rock group White Denim, Chali 2na, Nature Boy, Rizzle Kicks and Ana Tijoux.

Trip hop is the undeniable soul of the entire album but surprising elements add an interesting dynamic to give some of the tracks a welcome change of flavour. Perhaps most deviant are blues influences which take the form of multiple whining guitar chords and solos that appear in both ‘Give Me Your Love‘ and ‘Face of Danger‘. Add on top of that the angsty disposition of White Denim’s James Petralli, and ‘Call It Love‘ a moody ode set to a slow boiling bassline. It’s a seething retaliation for misguided love and amplifies the album’s theme of holding your ‘head up high’.

Make Believer‘ is another track outlier with its easy-skanking steel drums and funky reggae direction. This track could easily fall alongside any Bob Marley classic as Skye Edwards’ smooth vocals weave in and out of the slinky bassline. Though rap and trip hop go together like bread and butter, the integration of rap on top of ‘Face of Danger‘ seemed flat set against the groovy syncopated rhythm and Edwards’ soulful voice. That aside, the rap in question lasts no longer than 30-seconds and is not enough to condemn the track’s contagious attitude and driving rhythms.

Head Up High‘ is another epic to add to an impressive career which saw the group start 18 years ago. Though repetitive at times, the overall result boasts some amazing collaborations that should be respected for their added versatility to the album. The album is set for release October 14 via PIAS Recordings and is well worth the entry fee.

Stream it in full below.

3.5/5 HBF Rating

Full European Live Dates:
24th Oct Roxy, Prague
26th Oct Den Atelier, Luxembourg
28th Oct Theaterfabrik, Munich
29th Oct Gibson, Frankfurt
30th Oct C-Club, Berlin
1st Nov Gruenspan, Hamburg
2nd Nov Kantine, Cologne
4th Nov Paradiso, Amsterdam
5th Nov Het Depot, Leuven
7th Nov Olympia, Paris
8th Nov Krakatoa, Bordeaux
9th Nov Bikini, Toulouse
10th Nov Theatre Du Moulin, Marseille
12th Nov La Rodia, Besancon
13th Nov Laiterie Club, Strasbourg
14th Nov Komplex 457, Zurich
15th Nov Thonex Live, Geneva
17th Nov Gorilla, Manchester
18th Nov ABC, Glasgow
19th Nov Forum, London
1st Dec Meo Arena, Lisbon
2nd Dec Porto Coliseum, Porto
3rd Dec But, Madrid
5th Dec Culture Factory, Girona
7th Dec WUK, Vienna
8th Dec Culture factory, Zagreb
10th Dec Durer Kert, Budapest
11th Dec Arenele Romane, Bucherest
13th Dec NDK Hall 3, Sofia
14th Dec Gargarin, Athens.

Shea Kopp

is an audiophile and electronic music activist who calls both Los Angeles and San Diego home. She is the contributor to multiple music blogs. Find her on the dance floor when she is not writing about or listening to music. Feel free to contact Shea at shea.kopp@gmail.com