If you’re having a crappy day and want some music to pick you up we have the answer: Centre and the South’s debut LP, Yadah. They’re one hundred percent reggae with a little blues and roots thrown in for good measure. After one sit down of listening to their album we guarantee you’ll be all about the good vibes.
This isn’t case of being cornered by a long talker. Yadah sees Centre and the South put a unique spin on reggae.
If you’re not into reggae, it doesn’t matter because they’re a breath of fresh air even for the most stubborn of music listeners. Every song is uplifting and wholesome. You don’t feel like your ears have been annihilated with 20 electronic drops and crass language you didn’t even know existed.
Centre and the South is an 8-piece band based in Melbourne. They use a variety of instruments to create their sound including a stomp box, djembe, ankle bells, congas, lap steel guitar, saxophone and a dobro guitar. First track off the album is Yadah, an upbeat song exploring how we react on our life journey. It’s peaceful and reflective, just how a reggae song should be.
When listening to vocal lead Nicholas Emsley you can’t place his singing style with a prominent reggae figure (i.e. Bob Marley) because he isn’t trying to manipulate his voice to sound ‘traditionally reggae’. The rhythm, melodies and lyrics provide enough evidence that what Centre and the South produce is their own unique take on reggae.
You can see this in Sweet Spirit featuring the heavenly vocals of Lisa Edwards. The relaxed strum of the guitar and presence of the organ gives it that reggae vibe. Listening to this song you can certainly dream of an island getaway, sitting on a deserted beach drinking Piña coladas.
You Can Be the One is a tune you can definitely get your groove on to. Emsley is sharing the lyrical load with Jimmy Doheny singing about making the world a great place. “You can be the one, to build some freedom/ You could be the one, to make it better”. The album was produced by multi-award winning Michael Cristiano and listening to Yadah he’s done a great job of drawing out their multiple influences to present a take on the genre that is both satisfyingly familiar and refreshing.
Unfortunately for all of you aching to hear them live, they’ve just wrapped up a national tour so hold tight and there will probably be something coming up in the future.