Ibeyi, Flo Morrissey | Lincoln Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Sun., March 29, 8 p.m. 2015
Price: sold out
Nearly every song on the eponymous debut by Ibeyi, the duo of French-Cuban twins Lisa-Kainde and Naomi Diaz, is suffused with a different kind of loss. Song after song reflects on a life marked by longing—they yearn for the orisha (“deity”) in Santeria on “Oya” and recall memories of their father, master conguero Miguel “Anga” Diaz, on “Think of You.” A veteran of Cuban juggernauts like Irakere and the Buena Vista Social Club, Diaz suffered a fatal heart attack in 2006 at the age of 45, when his girls were still teenagers. “Think of You” is produced by Richard Russell, who released the album on his XL imprint, and includes samples of playing by Diaz that complement his daughter Naomi’s beats. And despite the song’s mournful quality and the way breakbeats pierce the jazzy melodic shapes, there’s something celebratory about its message as the twins intone, “We hear your laughter and we think of you / We walk on rhythm and we think of you.” The collision of fluid melodies and hard beats carries on through most of the album: Ibeyi channels the amorphous tunefulness of Bjork on “Oya” and the post-Billie Holiday, neosoul coo of early Erykah Badu on “Mama Says,” on which the sisters express empathy for their mother’s loneliness. There’s a lack of variety—sultry, midtempo grooves predominate—but for a couple of 20-year-olds this record is a true stunner, and there seems to be no shortage of directions Ibeyi could take. My appetite has been seriously whetted. —Peter Margasak
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