(Wharf Cat)


Good news for people who like Nick Cave but have over-played every Nick Cave record: Bambara are back. The trio have long been compared to the gothfather and his murder ballads, and despite its name, their new album, Stray, keeps to this menacing track. From the stalking, ominous bassline of album opener ‘Miracle’ to closer ‘Machete’’s marching beat and psychopathic lyrics, Bambara’s third album is awash with darkness.

Stray is assembled almost like a collection of short stories, with the brothers Bateh and William Brookshire seizing the opportunity to show off their narrative skills. With influences ranging from Leonard Cohen to French noir and Southern Gothic writers like Flannery O’Connor, the trio’s lyrics blend the surreal and sublime, the romantic and the deeply twisted. As a ‘for instance’, the blackly humorous ‘Death Croons’ sees the reaper fend off an ardent prospective lover as he continues to amass a collection of his victims’ remains in the boot of his car. Elsewhere, album highlight and recent single ‘Serafina’ explores a pyromaniac love story, with deceptively simple lyrics building into a poetic, distinctly Southern narrative. Then there’s ‘Sing Me to the Street’, its atmosphere more funeral dirge than rock song with dragging, defeated vocals and mentions of murdered babies.

On album number three, Bambara have gotten heavier than ever. Stray is ice cold, and sharp as a knife’s edge.

FEATURE: Bambara in conversation with Fergal Kinney about Stray

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.

If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.