10 Songs, 36 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Born in Sudan, Ahmed Gallab fled with his family to the U.S., where he was eventually raised in Ohio. His musical soul sent him to Brooklyn, where he brought his percussion work to indie music folks (Caribou, Of Montreal, Yeasayer) while working on his solo project, Sinkane, the entire time. Gallab’s interest in rhythms guarantees that Mean Love is meant for dancing. Yet his silky vocals have such heart that the music also channels the emotions of ’60s and ’70s soul music. “How We Be” starts things with a low-key noir sound that’s immediately fleshed out on “New Name,” where the sounds of Philly soul and disco combine with Gallab’s easygoing voice for an interesting tug of war. A Curtis Mayfield vibe breaks out on “Yacha.” Bossa nova floats into the mild funk of “Moonstruck.” The title track offers a sense of ’50 pop-rock with a country-western flavor mixing with Gallab’s angelic falsetto. Anyone thinking C&W is too much a stretch will be assured it works on “Galley Boys,” where pedal steel guitar meets a vague dub rhythm and a soft-rock vocal.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Born in Sudan, Ahmed Gallab fled with his family to the U.S., where he was eventually raised in Ohio. His musical soul sent him to Brooklyn, where he brought his percussion work to indie music folks (Caribou, Of Montreal, Yeasayer) while working on his solo project, Sinkane, the entire time. Gallab’s interest in rhythms guarantees that Mean Love is meant for dancing. Yet his silky vocals have such heart that the music also channels the emotions of ’60s and ’70s soul music. “How We Be” starts things with a low-key noir sound that’s immediately fleshed out on “New Name,” where the sounds of Philly soul and disco combine with Gallab’s easygoing voice for an interesting tug of war. A Curtis Mayfield vibe breaks out on “Yacha.” Bossa nova floats into the mild funk of “Moonstruck.” The title track offers a sense of ’50 pop-rock with a country-western flavor mixing with Gallab’s angelic falsetto. Anyone thinking C&W is too much a stretch will be assured it works on “Galley Boys,” where pedal steel guitar meets a vague dub rhythm and a soft-rock vocal.

TITLE TIME
4:17
3:03
3:42
3:40
3:04
3:39
3:16
3:47
3:47
4:19

About Sinkane

Sinkane is an alias of Ahmed Gallab, a recording artist who sings and plays numerous instruments (drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, et al.). His percussion-heavy style of music draws from a wide range of influences, most noticeably free jazz (e.g., Pharoah Sanders) and shoegaze (e.g., My Bloody Valentine). Born in London, Gallab also lived in Sudan for several years before he and his family moved to the United States. He made his debut in May 2008 on Emergency Umbrella Records with the EP Color Voice; the same year, he toured as the drummer of Caribou and Of Montreal. A self-titled album was released in May 2009. He later signed to DFA -- an ideal home for his trippy hybrid sound -- and released a second album, Mars, in November 2012, following it up with the eclectic Mean Love in 2014. In 2016, Gallab entered the Sonic Ranch Studios in El Paso to record his fifth album. The resulting Life & Livin' It, which drew inspiration from life's joys and struggles, appeared at the beginning of 2017. ~ Jason Birchmeier

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