Published Jun 27, 2012When the Invisible dropped their Mercury Prize nominated self-titled debut in 2009, the London, UK-based trio were hailed as "the British TV On the Radio" and the comparison seemed particularly apt since first single "London Girl" possessed more than a passing resemblance to that Brooklyn, NY collective's spacey, funk-tinged sound. Follow-up Rispah (named after singer/guitarist Dave Okumu's late mother, who passed away during recording and whose death informed the music and subject matter of the album) is an entirely different experience. Despite its heavy subject matter, Rispah remains an eminently listenable release; it's proof of that somewhat clichéd adage that pain fuels great art.
Tell me about recording this album?
Okumu: Recording this album was a journey like no other, mainly because my mother died during the process. It was as if a line had been drawn through my life and I was standing on the other side; I needed to recalibrate to move forward. Everything was new, as if her absence had altered the universe. To my amazement, I found that our creative process as a band was able to absorb all these emotions. Our music was a secure context in which to express ourselves fully. By embracing this, I found I could feel my mother's delight in what we were doing. It also highlighted the depth of friendship that exists between the three of us in the band; it showed me that something so personal could also be universal.
How would you define the album's sound?
To my ears, the music sounds like what we were experiencing together at the time. It's emotionally complex but very direct. As a result, I think it's intimate and expansive at the same time. As a band, we are never particularly concerned with genre; we just want to make music that reflects who we are.
Read a review of Rispah here.