Flobots have been singing their smart and infectious anthems for a better world on stages throughout the United States, and around the globe, for the past decade. Formed in 2005, the alternative hip hop bandwas, from the beginning, committed to pushing musical boundaries and engaging their audiences in new ways. In recent years, this meant working at the grassroots level to encourage communities to raise their own voices through collective song.It was this work off the stage that inspired Flobots’ highly anticipated fourth album, NOENEMIES (release date May 5, 2017).NOENEMIES is, without question, Flobots’ most ambitious and sophisticated statement to date -both lyrically and musically. Each of its stand-alone tracks serves as a powerful, poignant new anthem, with surprises both subtle and grand. Taken as a whole, the album tells a story that is enormous in breadth, with a sound that is enveloping and electrically charged, befitting of the finely crafted, carefully chosen words. NOENEMIES compels the listener to delve and to contemplate, to share and revel. For the recording of NOENEMIES, Flobots’ core trio -emcee’s Brer Rabbit (Stephen Brackett) and Jonny 5 (Jamie Laurie) and drummer Kenny Ortiz -enlisted the help of trusted musical friends to bring their vision into reality. Producer Gabriel Otto worked intimately with the band to craft a distinct sonic landscape, recruiting a string section, horn players, and a gospel quintet to layer recurring motifs over the band’s signature grooves. They teamed up with founding Flobot Mackenzie Gault(viola) and longtime musical collaborator Serafin Sanchez (saxophone, keys) to co-write a number of songs. The band incorporated voices, melodies, and words from throughout their collaborations -both on and off stage -into the songs on NOENEMIES. NOENEMIES challenges contemporary culture’s shaming of ‘imperfect’ voices, and our tendency to reserve the right to raise one’s voice to those on stage.As Flobots know from personal experience -performers in American culture are elevated above the crowd. They know that maintaining a barrier between audience and performeris the conventional wisdom, the cultural practice, and the business model. But NOENEMIES brings the songs back to the people.
Wesley Watkins & Grumpy Uncle
Band Leader of the Other Black and trumpet player from Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats,