Eastern Barbers -Blue Flakes- Latest Single

Written by Johnny Flashton
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‘Blue Flakes’ is the latest single from South East London brothers EASTERN BARBERS, and you can certainly hear the influence of these surroundings on the track. While not making a direct political statement, Ross and James Fernandez writing style is a form of documentation, and it just so happens that their immediate surroundings depict acute gentrification and the loss of the local community.
Anyone who has set foot in London, or any other major city in recent years will have seen this cultural transformation with their own eyes.

This story is told through a haze of throwback soul samples, gently circling jazz-guitar hooks and lo-fi synth melodies. Whereas recently released single ‘Milk’ was an observation on the changing face of the city, in their words ‘Blue Flakes’ is “the simple strategy to cope with this idea that spaces are being diluted”. Communities are making way for Tesco Express’s and people are just moving fluidly between relationships without actually connecting with each other. “You notice a lot of this stuff as you get older and it can be challenging to digest. When we were younger things felt simpler and in Blue Flakes we’re trying to revisit some of that innocence.”

Indeed, the track speaks to a youth that is becoming increasingly disconnected, providing an inner-city soundtrack to a generation whose outlook is becoming increasingly desolate. However, the overall feel of the song is uplifting, with Jazz-inflected overtones adding to the atmosphere of the track. Sizzling cymbals punctuate washed out guitar tones and effortless vocals, creating a space in which to sit and ponder – it’s the perfect music for sticking on your headphones on a long train journey, looking out of the window and watching the world go by.

The band’s eclectic influences stem from being classically trained as well as a youth spent touring in a contemporary jazz outfit across Europe. The brothers began writing in earnest while living and travelling through Latin America, East Asia, India and the Middle East. They draw from their bank of samples collected, voice memos and WhatsApp messages, reworking and remixing them as a continuous process, and piecing them together to create multi-layered compositions.

Blue Flakes by Eastern Barbers

It’s clear that the brothers’ message is one that connects, having been supported by the likes of NME, DIY and BBC Introducing’s Abbie McCarthy, which has led to them playing Glastonbury, Sofar Sounds and the Great Escape, as well performing to consistently sold out London venues. At their live shows, the line-up is completed by a rotating cast of family and friends who join them live to add elements such as brass and spoken word to the soundscape. Incidentally, your next chance to catch them if you’re in London is their headline show at the Lock Tavern on Jan 27th 2018, presented by Be A Body and Friends Serene. If you’re not London based, you’re sure to see Eastern Barbers popping up on festival line-ups next year as the announcements begin to roll in.


Read 4087 times Last modified on Monday, 04 December 2017 18:54
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Johnny Flashton

Johnny Flashton

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