I really can’t say it any better than this:
“Rispah,” the new album from The Invisible, is, in the words of singer-guitarist Dave Okumu, ”a love letter to grief.” Mid-way through recording a follow-up to 2009’s Mercury-nominated debut album, Okumu’s mother passed away and the band’s plans and aesthetic were thrown into turmoil. As Okumu remembers it, “I couldn’t engage with music for a long period. The moment it returned to me was at my mum’s funeral, which lasted several days. One evening, during the wake, my grandmother Zilpa, my mother’s mum, arrived at our home accompanied by a group of women singing traditional spirituals. They approached my mother’s body and sang over it, dancing around her coffin. It was the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard. They transformed the atmosphere with sound and the spirit they brought to it. They were celebrating life and death, grief and hope, all things. This act was allowing everyone present to express themselves. It served as the most potent reminder of everything I believe about music. It’s there for everybody, it’s inclusive and transformative. I’m so glad these voices are stitched through our record.”
Rispah is out June 2012. I’ve heard the whole thing and it is absolutely beautiful, a really really special album.