Ibeyi, a French Cuban duo who’s music is eclectic as they’re cultural backgrounds, arrive with their self titled debut. Singing in English and Nigerian Yoruba languages, the album sees a fusion of modern music styles and cultural clashes; on paper, inconceivable to work coherently. On whole however, the album completely quells these fears. Each track flows into the next, creating a wholly fluid sound to the overall record. No one song is lost in this flowing trajectory of the debut. Each song brings with it its own unique contribution to the album, cumulatively building the distinctive sound that the pair produces. Highlights include the echoing tones of ‘Think Of You’ set over recognizable hip hop beats, creating a stark and altogether haunting track. ‘Weatherman’ also encapsulates this sound, channelling R&B melodies and rhythms with the two piercing voices. The prior released tracks such as ‘River’ and ‘Ghosts’ that initiated the hype around the girls can also not be ignored. Far from being overplayed, they still remain fresh amongst the new material, aiding the rejuvenation of the well-trodden tracks.
The album certainly showcases the sisters’ talent, setting them firmly on the alternative stage. We are left, however, with a somewhat bitter taste, wondering where the distinctly different duo can take their music from here. Ibeyi push the boundaries with this debut; how much further they can go is a question begging to be answered. For now though, in their initiatory phases, you can only merit such a brave and altogether well composed piece of art.