Austin’s Kalu & The Electric Joint are back with a stellar new single “Garden of Eden,” which is out now. The track will be accompanied by a stunning new music video [https://youtu.be/tefQt2Eb9DQ] directed, shot, and edited by Barbara FG. “Garden of Eden” is the latest in a string of singles the band has released during the pandemic and is part of a bigger body of work they’ve been working on since 2019. Kalu shares the inspiration, “‘Garden of Eden’ centers around the struggles of remaining open and vulnerable in relationships, partnerships, and life without letting past experiences negatively dictate the future, often robbing us of the gift of the present, which is now.” Listen at https://ffm.to/y1on1ne.OIS.
Kalu and the Electric Joint blend the powers of psychedelic soul music with the driving beat of rock and roll and the ancient rhythms of Africa. Born in Nigeria, Kalu at age 18 first moved to New York before relocating to Austin, Texas, where he and JT Holt (Guitarist, Producer/Engineer) put together a stellar ensemble of players who graciously fuel and follow his deep well of eclectic influences. This musical chemistry comes from the bond forged by frontman Kalu James, and guitarist Jonathan “JT” Holt, who adds a touch of American soul to Kalu’s West African heritage.
Their debut album Time Undone (Spaceflight Records) showcased what Billboard called a “blending [of] both West African and American brands of funk with bluesy grit and psychedelic ambience, along with a chin-out attitude.” Continued critical praise came in from NPR’s All Things Considered, American Songwriter, KUTX, Austin Chronicle, Austin American Statesman, Texas Monthly and more, solidifying their spot onto the music scene!
Other poignant singles recently released include “Downfall” in 2021, an offering channeling the late Martin Luther King, and an uncanny foreshadowing (when recorded) of what was to come less than a year later with the BLM movement. And 2020’s “Shadows” and “Mirror” delivering a positive, yet cautionary tale in these turbulent times, uplifting their listeners and compelling them to speak out.
These singles are just a taste of what’s to come from KEJ’s upcoming full length. After two years of touring hard behind the band’s first release, KEJ went through rhythm section personnel transitions. That didn’t stop them from recording new music and in March 2019 they worked with Dallas producer Jason Burt, who’s collaborated with Leon Bridges, John Mayer, and worked with Texas Gentlemen, Paul Cauthen, SirWoman, and David Ramirez. This session would be the direction of the new record. Kalu explains, “We had become our own rhythm section with the abilities Burt came armed with using Synthetic drum/Synths/Keys. JT Holt playing the acoustic drums, guitars, lap steel, and both trading bass duties. We continued working on the album throughout the pandemic and as the record moved along in production, Robb Kidd and Johnny Radelat re-cut acoustic drums on 3 songs.”
Live, Kalu & The Electric Joint deliver captivating and invigorating shows that have secured sets at Bonnaroo, Panic En La Playa, 420 Sweet Water Music Fest, and opening for acts like Questlove, George Clinton & The Parliament Funkadelic, Moon Taxi amongst many others.
Kalu concludes, “With all the madness surrounding us, the incessant questions plus finger pointing, we are turning them inwards to find how to help. For us, it is to keep making music we want to hear, with everyday themes that hopefully connects and inspires others to embrace themselves with a reminder that there’s room for us all, here on Earth. We can nurture this ‘Garden of Eden’ or be the Villain.”