15 May 2020
EP Rating 4 / 5
Favourite Songs Belly Of The Beast, Talk Less
Mamilah have self-released their second EP Talk Less, a collection of songs that follow on in the same vein of their debut EP Moonlight Walking from 2018. The Leeds 7-piece have curated a selection of tracks that elevate and inspire through their refreshing style of neo-soul and funk that focuses on a melodious horns section harmonising with divine vocals.
As a group of musicians, producers, DJs and songwriters, they compose their songs that have taken a whole host of musical influence from soul, jazz, latin and R&B music. Having shared the stage with luminaries such as KOKOROKO, Kool and the Gang, Yazmin Lacey and Craig Charles as well as getting their hands dirty on the local circuit, Mamilah’s live performance saw them travel to festivals Boomtown, El Dorado and Virgo Festival in summer 2019, as well as at pioneering grassroots venues such as The Wardrobe, The Hootannany and Band on The Wall.
They have earned regular airtime on Alan Raw’s BBC Introducing Show in West Yorkshire, being highlighted on his ‘Ones to Watch in 2019’ broadcast, and featured on Bandcamp’s “Best Soul of August 2018” article. A recent feature on Clash magazine highlighted Mamilah as one of the pioneering artists in Leeds underground Jazz Scene and they intend to further push the boundaries of this scene in 2020.
With help from Greenmount Studios and Hippocratic Mastering in producing the record, they released their first single 'Disappear' on 3 April, with all artwork from the two singles and the EP to come from the wonderful creatives at Endless Studio in Leeds. This release signifies the new, matured sound of Mamilah and the social climate they are reflecting upon. Lydia Kotsirea's lyrics celebrate how people pull together and find common ground in times of hardship and inequality, when you may expect the exact opposite reaction. Tom Richards jumps on the sax for this single and alongside Dan Coulthurst on trumpet, they create a beautiful, summery feel that bounces along to the melody. Kotsirea's vocals gush out with her typical mixture of gentle and impassioned vocals that cut through, as her lyric of 'heaven' enhances the spiritual mood of 'Disappear'.
Title track 'Talk Less' has the feel of their usual danceable anthems that have become a staple of their live performances, as the lyrics of 'round and around ...' ring out and build up to a 70's-style sound in the chorus. 'Speak Freedom' is the second single from the EP and is more ballad-like as Kotsirea's vocals ripple and surge with the horns section with fantastic effect. Final track 'Belly Of The Beast' has a fantastic swagger to it as Ed Allen's guitar leads the guitar to an almost stomp-like pattern as the song resonates the group's consistent feel-good atmosphere. Throughout the EP, the rhythm section have a collective wisdom as they play with a conscious simplicity that really allows Kotsirea, Coulthurst and saxophonist Hannah Mae Birtwell to drive the melodies to their most compelling forms; this approach to their music is why they are one of the most accomplished jazz and soul acts to remain in the Leeds region and continue to grow.
Mamilah sadly have had to postpone their headline EP launch at Headrow House in May due to the current coronavirus situation. However, their first single 'Disappear' features on Leeds promoters Super Friendz's compilation Super Friendz Isolation Mixtape Volume 1 that dropped on 6 April, a pay as you feel Bandcamp exclusive of 18 tracks from some of their favourite artists from Leeds and the surrounding area. Their involvement in the compilation alongside contemporaries in the jazz scene such as B-ahwe and Long Legged Creatures reveals their popularity in Leeds; Mamilah can replicate their recorded material live and produce gripping performances that induce the whole audience to dance to their pulsating rhythms.
Follow and keep up to date with Mamilah here:
Buy and stream 'Disappear' here:
You can buy the Super Friendz compilation that 'Disappear' features on here:
Read Ben's interview with Mamilah here: