Photo Credit: Jamie Wdziekonski
Today, Melbourne-based Bananagun have announced their debut album, The True Story of Bananagun and have shared the lead single from the the record. “People Talk Too Much” is an upbeat, sunshine nugget inspired by Fela Kuti. The True Story of Bananagun is due out on June 26th, 2020 via Full Time Hobby.
The track bounces around atop hybrid percussion that fuses West African high life with Brazilian tropicalia and showcases the love of the groove that’s at the heart of everything Bananagun. “We didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing,” the band’s founder, guitarist, vocalist and flautist Nick van Bakel says. “We wanted it to be vibrant, colourful and have depth like the jungle. Like an ode to nature.”
Hailing from Melbourne, but with a sound stretching from 60s and 70s Afrobeat and exotica, the proto-garage rhythmic fury of The Monks and the grooves of Os Mutantes, there’s an enticing lost world exoticism to the music of Bananagun. It’s the sort of stuff that could’ve come from a dusty record crate of hidden gems; yet as the punchy, colourfully vibrant pair of sold out singles Do Yeah and Out of Reach have proven over the past 12 months, the band are no revivalists. On debut album The True Story of Bananagun, they make a giant leap forward with their outward-looking blend of global tropical psychedelia.
The True Story of Bananagun marks the group’s first full foray into writing and recording as a complete five piece band, having originally germinated in the bedroom ideas and demos of guitarist, vocalist and flautist Nick van Bakel. The multi-instrumentalist grew up on skate videos, absorbing the hip-hop beats that soundtracked them – taking on touchstones like Self Core label founder Mr. Dibbs and other early 90’s turntablists.
Van Bakel was joined first by cousin Jimi Gregg on drums – the pair’s shared love of the Jungle Book apparently made him a natural fit – and the rest of the group are friends first and foremost, put together as a band because of a shared emphasis on keeping things fun. Jack Crook (guitar/vocals), Charlotte Tobin (djembe/percussion) and Josh Dans (bass) complete the five-piece and between them there’s a freshness and playful spontaneity borne out of late night practice jams and hangs at producer John Lee’s Phaedra Studios in Melbourne.
The band’s seemingly innocuous name has an underlying message of connectivity that matches the universality of the music. “It’s like non-violent combat! Or the guy who does a stick up, but it’s just a banana, not a gun, and he tells the authorities not to take themselves too seriously.”
The True Story of Bananagun
(Full Time Hobby)
[click here to pre-order]
Street Date: June 26th, 2020
1. Bang Go The Bongos
2. The Master
3. People Talk Too Much
4. Freak Machine
5. Bird Up!
6. Out of Reach
7. She Now
8. Perfect Stranger
9. Mushroom Bomb
10. Modern Day Problems
11. Taking the Present for Granted