Over the years, your writer has made a habit of referring to the work of Cork neo-soul outfit Shookrah as music both for the bombast and celebration of the dancefloor as well as for the pensiveness and introspection of the walk home. Their debut full-length album marks a culmination of their journey into the future of funk, soul and R&B that began in their semi-regular residency at the venue formerly known as the Pavilion, under the act’s previous moniker Moustache Latte.
From humble beginnings has emerged a multi-headed beast of forward-looking funk, set equally in laying down bulletproof, synth-powered groove and relating inarguable, thought-provoking, home truths about the nature of love, feminism, and the wider discourse surrounding relationships and courtship in the post-#MeToo era, most starkly laid out in the new-normal manifesto Don’t Wanna Doubt You. Notions is a neat little mover tempered by the internal monologue that follows a mis-spent youth, while the shuffling hip-hop groove of album closer Reformer is a natural home for contributions from Limerick rap don God Knows.
If you’ve seen Shookrah in the flesh, you’ll know this is consistent with the band’s incredibly high standards of musicianship and ever-expanding curiosity. Senita Appiakorang is a talismanic frontwoman, with all the power in the world behind a distinct and commanding voice, and her presence is bound to lead Shookrah further into the sweeping, synthy retro-future of their collective imagining.
Words: Mike McGrath-Bryan
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