PREMIERE: Vipertime - Head Up (feat. Franz Von)
Leeds aggro-jazz four-piece Vipertime return with their second single 'Head Up' from their upcoming new album Arise coming out in early 2023 on Hyde Park Book Club Records.
Featuring Jamaican-born, Sheffield-based hip hop and afro-fusion artist Franz Von on the vocals, this collaboration shows another side to Vipertime as they add a powerful, individual voice.
Beginning with a gnarly bassline from Matías Reed, Ben Powling's sax riff comes in snarling and full of swagger. The loose afrobeat drums don't have the same freneticism we have come to expect from Vipertime, as this song is a lot more introspective.
This vibe is something different for Franz Von too as he is well known for high-energy performances, but the spoken word delivery here has space for us to take in his message - keeping "your head up" and being "ready to live it or die brave" as you're in charge, confident and proud of what you are going to move ahead with in your life.
Set against the backdrop of a soothing melody driven by Reed's bass, the cymbals ringing out from Vipertime's two drummers offer an ethereal texture for Von's vocals to resonate through. You can hear the influence of Buena Vista Social Club and Willie Colón, with Franz Von channelling the spirits of The Last Poets and Count Ossie.
The craft from the calm moments to a passionate crescendo is driven by the group's innate ability to charge their performances with a real hunger to make you move to their music.
Since their birth in the basements of Leeds house parties, Vipertime produces this effect with ease and draws upon their influences of Impulse! Records and peers in the UK jazz revival to create their enthralling sound.
After their debut album, Shakedown in 2019 alongside All Our Heroes Are Dead and Live at Smugglers Festival EP's in 2018 and 2020 respectively, their new album Arise is set to come out in early 2023 with a vinyl release and tour to accompany.
Having received airplay on BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 2, BBC Introducing and Worldwide FM in the past for their heavy jazz, twisted post-punk and Ethiopiques-inspired sounds, they continued in the same vain with the release earlier this year of 'Beatviper'.
They celebrate 'Head Up' with a couple of live shows to finish off the year - bring on the full album release in 2023!
You can pre-order Vipertime - 'Head Up' here.
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