19 Dec 2018
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The Adults - Single/Video Review: Bloodlines (feat Estère & JessB)

28 May 2018 // A review by Alex Moulton

I remember when The Adults were first announced as the new project for Shihad’s Jon Toogood. The first single released gave the impression that the project would be similar in style to the comparative musical jump that Corey Taylor has between Slipknot and Stone Sour; opting for a change towards the lighter mainstream formula. The Adults, of course, have swiftly become much more than that, becoming far more collaborative with the artists that they work with.

Bloodlines has nothing that would connect it to Shihad, musically speaking. In a completely different genre, Bloodlines is an example of how artists should feature in a track. For too long, featuring has been relegated to backing vocals in the chorus, or a single verse, sometimes even just making odd noises from time to time (I’m looking at you Timbaland). Featuring has become more of an “appearance” to flagrantly expand the audience of each artist, and to gain access to more varied Spotify playlists. Bloodlines is a true feature, in which the artists’ presence shapes the song. This has become an Estère & JessB track that happens to have “The Adults” involved.

But let’s talk about the song itself. Bloodlines draws inspiration from “Aghani Al-Banat” (which translates to “girl’s music”), a Sudanese genre of urban fusion in which female musicians assert themselves through song, resisting the narrow definition of gender roles, and the patriarchy. The strength of the female is on full display in the music video, with women filling every visible role, to create this traditional, almost tribal track burst with life. Heavily entrenched within nature, the video mirrors the attitude of the song,

The combination of Estère and JessB is initially unconventional and contrasting, the former providing a harmonious pop melody, and beautifully slow, flowing dance, whereas the latter is much more aggressive, primal, and unrelenting rap. This is the duality of women, however, and the coexistence of frail beauty and strength and persistence within woman throughout history is well presented.

The video provides gorgeous shots from Piha and Karekare beaches and makes noteworthy use of colour and light to show the differences, contrasting cool hues and slow, synchronized choreography, with red light and more frantic antagonistic actions. Fire and Water, Light and Dark, Yin and Yang. Two sides of the same coin.


Review written by Alex Moulton

 

About The Adults

After twenty-two years at the helm of New Zealand’s most loved rock band, Shihad frontman Jon Toogood has built up a treasure trove of musical connections. Lucky for us they have now collided, resulting in one hell of a project.

After a couple of years “collecting musical ideas” the multi instrumentalist began work in earnest six months ago on what has become The Adults, a celebration of his work with some of New Zealand’s brightest talents and an iconic Kiwi album in-the-making.

A truly collaborative affair, the project began with a wishlist of artists that Jon “loved, admire and respected”, all of whom jumped at the chance to work with him to create the eclectic tracklisting. The roll call of names on the album reads like a who’s who of New Zealand music, including names as diverse as Shayne Carter (Straitjacket Fits/Dimmer), Anika Moa, Ladi6, Julia Deans, Gary Sullivan (Jean Paul Sartre Experience/Dimmer), Nick Roughan (Skeptics), Ruban & Kody Nielson (The Mint Chicks), Warren Maxwell (TrinityRoots/Little Bushman), Riki Gooch (TrinityRoots), Redford Grenell (ex-Shapeshifter), Steve Bremner and co-producer and collaborator Tiki Taane. Collectively, the group is now known as ‘The Adults’, and the frontman says that after twenty years in the business it was definitely time that he “learned a whole new way of writing music from these people, who do it so well”. They too learned a whole new musical vocabulary from Toogood, and appear on this album in ways you’ve never heard them before.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Adults

Releases

Haja
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
The Adults (Deluxe Edition)
Year: 2012
Type: Album
The Adults
Year: 2011
Type: Album

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