What To Listen To: Kongos And The Zolas

Photo courtesy of The Kongos
Photo courtesy of The Kongos

 

Hello again readers! Are you ready for another Music Monday?

A song I simply MUST introduce you to is “Come With Me Now” by Kongos. With this song, the outfit of four brothers from South Africa, now based in Phoenix, AZ, have managed to answer the question of ‘what would Seether* sound like if they fell in with a Cajun-style accordion player?’. The result? THIS song: “Come With Me Now”.

If you watch the CW show The Originals, you will have heard the song on the episode entitled “Crescent City”. The video just SCREAMS the opportunity to talk about male/female representations, so, why don’t we?

There are two females in the video: one is a Barbie-doll lookalike young woman in a skimpy dress more suited for the bedroom than a dance club getting ready to go out (she is also the video’s signature still but isn’t actually the first shot of the video) and the other is a young brunette woman in workout wear – a cropped, midriff-baring top like a sports bra and short shorts. She skips rope for a second or two twice during the video and pretends to cycle on a stationary bike as if to justify her presence.

Men, also two. A young man with stubbly facial hair wearing a cap, pipe, T-shirt and cardigan at a round café table and the other is a white middle-aged man in an office, wearing that uniform: white dress shirt, tie and suit, minus the jacket. Each of the four is also filmed in black and white in a dark swimming pool contorting individually in the water. While the cap and cardi guy has had a change of clothes, everyone else is still in the same ones.

The dry land and in water snippets are interspersed with the rest of the song’s performance video components (which also demonstrate the need for some band members to work on their lip syncing). The video has no overarching theme tying everything together, certainly no narrative, so I’m a little confused as to why it was an artistic requirement to feature the lithe young women in states of ‘leaves little to the imagination’ other than woman as object, to be ogled by the over half a million views this video has had alone on YouTube, when the men were not only fully dressed, moreover, the band members themselves display very little sense of occasion either, sporting T-shirts and jeans.

In addition to the education in gender relations, I now know that what I hear at the 2’28” mark is a slide guitar, which has been bugging me since the first time I heard the song a few months ago. How deplorably it is visually represented aside, the song has fantastic energy, a kick-butt accordion, and that is what I choose to take from it.

If you want to view the official video to get my point, you can view it on YouTube

If you’d prefer to let the song speak for itself, hear it at Kongos’s Soundcloud page:

https://soundcloud.com/kongos/come-with-me-now

*FWIW, I made the Seether comparison before I found out Kongos were from South Africa as well.

Photo courtesy of Spill Magazine
Photo courtesy of Spill Magazine

 

CANadian
CONnection

There is so much good stuff coming out of this country and here’s a band I have only discovered in the past year or so, but am excited to share with you: Vancouver, BC’s own The Zolas. In essence, The Zolas are Zachary Gray and Tom Dobrzanski, with other musicians recruited as needed for touring and recording. With their tuneful brand of indie rock which features guitar and piano keyboard, they produce soulful melodies and emotive lyrics. They released their second full-length CD Ancient Mars in 2012 which had the gorgeous songs “Ancient Mars” and “Knot in My Heart” on it. 2013 saw the release of an EP titled Invisible, and its title track is the one I want to feature. It has a soul groove that dusty parts of my memory associate with the Philosopher Kings, an infectious and danceable beat, and at under 3 minutes in length, it’s shockingly short. All the more reason to press Repeat. Repeatedly.

The Zolas are fully plugged in with a presence on Facebook and Twitter, you can hear them on Bandcamp, iTunes, or via the band’s website.

Sigrid is on

Sigrid Bernhoerster

Contributor at Merry Band of Awesome
Sigrid is a BA graduate of UBC where she double majored in English Literature and Art History. She gets distracted from continuing her MA with the University of Nottingham by music, theatre (Bard on the Beach and NT Live in particular), TV and film, and a good bit of the pop culture that goes along with it, and by writing about most of the above. Social media is an outlet, an opportunity, and an inspiration.
Sigrid Bernhoerster
Sigrid is on
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