Album: Just Before Chaos
Release: 01 January 2014
Label: Drunk Souls Evenements
Style: Reggae, Alternative Rock, Ska
Other than Daft Punk and Pheonix, the last thing of musical relevance to come out of France would probably be Debussy… and he went out of style with the Charleston boogie. In other words there’s not a lot of popular music emerging from the City of Lights. Which is why discovering Drunksouls came as a pleasant surprise. Of course that wouldn’t have happened without some sustained effort from the group.
Drunksouls has been together for nearly 13 years, they’ve done extensive touring, and have won a slew of internationally acclaimed awards for their music. And to celebrate their growing success Drunksouls has released a compilation CD, Just Before Chaos. The album is a condensed sound collage of their work thus far, although for many of us who have never heard their stuff, it’s less a mash-up of old material than a fresh blending of genres and borrowed styles.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a reggae infused pop rock group would have French origins; especially this day in age when cross-cultural music trends have been on the rise thanks to social media, but that’s only a presupposition in this case. It has more to do with the idea that—much like folk music—reggae has strong political undertones, many of which revolve around ideas of revolution and change. And we all know France and revolution go together like cheese and wine. What’s still more surprising is how Drunksouls approaches such heavy-handed topics: “Dead Prez called themselves ‘revolutionary but gangster.’ If that’s the case than Drunksouls is revolutionary but funny,” says the band. Drunksouls have their share of political songs, but with an extreme almost playful image—not unlike the Red Hot Chili Peppers—these songs resonate with a satirical element.