CMU Approved

Approved: Baba Ali

By | Published on Thursday 17 February 2022

Baba Ali

Baba Ali have released ‘Black + Blue’, the second track from their new double A-side single, which also includes the song ‘Living It Up’.

An earlier version of ‘Black + Blue’ actually appeared on 2020 mixtape ‘Rethinking Sexual Pleasure’. However, recently revisiting it with a new recording, the duo breathed new life into the song in a way that excited not only themselves, but also Yard Act’s James Smith and Ryan Needham, who eagerly offered to put their new material out through their Zen FC label – the label they originally founded to put out their own releases prior to signing to Island Records.

“We ended up reacting to the beginning of lockdown by writing a tonne of new songs in my basement in New Jersey”, says vocalist Baba Doherty. “Some of the tracks ended up forming a mixtape that we put out on Bandcamp. ‘Black + Blue’ was a song from that collection of songs, and one we were really happy with at the time, so this was an interesting opportunity to open the track up again and see how our experiences since that period had changed our approach to recording”.

“It is a song I am always trying to convince Nik [Balchin, guitarist/synths] to add to our live set, but I don’t even think he can even remember the tuning he used for it”, he adds. “Hopefully giving the song an official release will kind of force his hands on that one”.

Smith and Needham add: “We loved Baba Ali’s music from the moment we heard it. When Baba sent through some new tunes he and his bandmate Nik were working on we saw an opportunity to reboot Zen FC, and to preserve [them] on wax and share some great music with the world. It was a no-brainer for us. We are honoured, we are buzzed to have Baba Ali as the first ever non-YA release on Zen FC – follow the label, there will be much more to come in the future”.

Baba Ali are also supporting Yard Act on their UK tour, starting tonight at Village Underground in London. They’ll also be back for headline shows of their own in April.

Listen to ‘Black + Blue’ here: