Ibibio Sound Machine confirm new album ‘Pull The Rope

They’ve also announced a new run of UK and Ireland tour dates.

Photo: Matilda Hill Jenkins

Ibibio Sound Machine have returned bearing gifts; they’ve shared an infectious new track, ‘Got To Be Who U Are’, which also serves as the lead single of their freshly-announced forthcoming LP, ‘Pull The Rope’.

Due out on 3rd May via Merge, the new record acts as a follow up to 2022’s ‘Electricity’, and will see the group delve into the pulsing, primal sonic textures of club culture and city nightlife. Recorded over a period of just two weeks with Sheffield’s Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys, M.I.A.), ‘Pull The Rope’ also saw band-leaders Eno Williams and Max Grunhard work in a new way, this time writing together before building the instrumental via jams with the rest of the band.

Speaking about the inspirations behind new single ‘Got To Be Who U Are’, Ibibio Sound Machine have commented: “[It’s] about the idea that what brings us together is stronger than what separates us. No matter where we may go, we will always carry the essence of who we are in our hearts, and yet the places and things that separate us are not as important as we may be led to believe. Be happy and proud of who or what you are.

“Musically, the track begins by stating its message over a traditional African mbira part and then drops into a similar vocal except now over more of an electronic dance vibe which is meant to have an uplifting tone to it to carry along the message that we may be in Europe, Africa or America, but a simple sound or thought can instantly connect us. The places mentioned in the chorus - “Surulere, Isale Eko, Ikoyi, Yaba” - are all areas in Lagos, Nigeria where Eno grew up. The different parts of the music are connected even though they are using totally different sounds, symbolising movement of people across the world and the fundamental connection between places and people no matter where one may be.”

You can listen to ‘Got To Be Who U Are’ and check out the band’s recently announced UK and Ireland tour dates below.

MAY 2024
22 Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
23 Norwich, Arts Centre
25 Birkenhead, Future Yard

JUNE 2024
05 Cambridge, Junction 2
06 London, KOKO
08 Bristol, SWX
09 Leeds, Project House

14 Brighton, Concorde 2
15 Manchester, Academy 2
16 Dublin, Whelan’s
18 Edinburgh, Summerhall
19 Nottingham, Rescue Rooms

Get tickets to watch Ibibio Sound Machine live now.

Tags: Ibibio Sound Machine, News, Listen

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