I Never feat. Daniel Merriweather
Second single from revered Australian outfit The Bamboos’ fifth album
“I Never” feat. Daniel Merriweather is out on 12th November on Tru Thoughts. The second single from revered Australian outfit The Bamboos’ fifth album, ‘Medicine Man’, this song epitomises the multi-layered and soulful pop sound of the LP with catchy, soaring melodies and wistfully emotive vocals in a star turn from pop/soul sensation Merriweather, alongside warm and bright production, making for a modern classic cut.
Under the guidance of bandleader, producer and guitarist Lance Ferguson (aka BBC 6Music Rebel Playlist-winning solo act Lanu), The Bamboos have forged a revelatory, forward-looking style they can truly call their own, masterfully blending blues, pop, soul and psychedelia influences with fresh ideas and stellar performances. The ‘Medicine Man’ album, which came out in June, marked a bold move into ever more sophisticated sonic territory.
The involvement of Daniel Merriweather – having previously collaborated with the likes of Mark Ronson and Wiley, scored a UK Top Ten solo album, and had heavy BBC Radio 1 and 2 support – is testament to the respect Ferguson has gained among fellow musicians, and the pop smarts and songwriting skill now at the forefront of his music; and illustrates how far The Bamboos have come in style and stature since forming 11 years ago.
Although now based in New York, Merriweather originally hails from The Bamboos’ native Melbourne, and Ferguson describes him as “a boy from the Eastern suburbs with a voice like magic – the local boy made GOOD!” He continues, describing how this serendipitous hook-up came about: “I had been wanting to do something with Daniel for years. Then we met by chance while I was loading out after a gig at The Night Cat in Melbourne – incidentally, where The Bamboos did all our first gigs – and we set up the studio dates there and then.”
Other major collaborators on the ‘Medicine Man’ album include chart-topping singer Aloe Blacc, on the high achieving first single “Where Does The Time Go?”, and Platinum-selling Australian indie-pop artist Megan Washington who features on the soul-gospel reinvention of James Blake’s dubstep ballad “The Wilhelm Scream”, which won over tastemakers including Rob da Bank (BBC R1), Steve Lamacq (6Music) and John Kennedy (XFM).
This “I Never” single also includes a dream pop inspired Lanu Remix of the lead track, as well as a disco-boogie leaning remix by The South Seas (a production alias that features ‘Medicine Man’ co-producer John Castle); and an exclusive release for the live version of the album’s title track, featuring Ella Thompson on vocals, recorded at one of The Bamboos’ biggest ever gigs on their recent headline tour of Australia.
The Bamboos formed in 2001, initially inspired by the raw funk of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, and quickly gained a reputation as one of the greatest deep funk and soul bands of our time. But this is a group who delight in confounding and exceeding expectations, and seasoned DJ and producer Ferguson’s myriad influences and drive for artistic progression ensure each new release is a fresh proposition. The diverse media support over the last decade, from Channel 4 to MOJO to Rolling Stone, BBC Radio 2 to NPR, proves that The Bamboos are much more than a great funk band – they are a great band – and they continue to up the ante with this release.