The Smile, Sons of Kemet Drummer Tom Skinner Announces New Solo Album

Preview 'Voices of Bishara' with opening track "Bishara" below

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Sep 7, 2022

Tom Skinner — the drummer, producer and composer known best for his work with Sons of Kemet and Radiohead offshoot the Smile — has readied a new album. Voices of Bishara arrives November 4 via Brownswood/International Anthem/Nonesuch.

Skinner's Voices of Bishara marks his first release under his given name, following 2012's self-titled debut as Hello Skinny. The album's title is a reference to By Myself, a 1978 private press rarity from late cellist Abdul Wadud released via his label Bisharra Records. 

As Skinner explains, "Bishara" (a more conventional spelling of Wadud's label name) translates as "good news," or "the bringer of good news." The artist shares, "This record is an attempt to put something truthful into the world, through collaboration and community, at a time of rising dishonesty and disinformation ... by bringing the musicians on this album who are very dear to me together, we pay homage to that idea by collectively spreading light where there is increasing darkness."

Skinner recorded Voices of Bishara alongside a cellist, a bass player and two saxophonists, all of whom were performing in the same room. He then took "a very liberal approach with the scissors" to cut and rearrange in the name of breathing "new life" into the music.

"I was taking my cue from the great disco re-edits, people like Theo Parrish chopping up tunes and looping sections," Skinner said of his process in a statement. "I'm not a purist. I don't want to get hung up on the past. It was really empowering to fuck it up a bit, to mess around with the music and see what happened. It felt right."

Opener "Bishara" can be heard below in all its twin-sax, percussively expressive glory, while Voices of Bishara is now available for pre-order.

In June, Sons of Kemet announced plans to break up "for the foreseeable future." Their final album was 2021's Black to the Future.

This November, Skinner and the Smile will tour North America behind their debut A Light for Attracting Attention, which is among Exclaim!'s Best Albums of 2022 So Far.

Voices of Bishara:

1. Bishara 
2. Red 2
3. The Journey 
4. The Day After Tomorrow 
5. Voices (of the Past)
6. Quiet as it's kept

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