Raw Soul Express have proved themselves as a band that requires no studio trickery or airbrushing, just artistic expertise. On the 1st February, the band released their new single entitled “Fate of the World” and confirmed they are still a soulful force to be reckoned with, some 45 years after they formed.
Raw Soul Express are a unique funk group birthed in Miami with a distinctively soulful sound, comprised of sultry lead vocals from Rick Washington and the instrumental prowesses of Chris Perkins, Tommy Johnson, John McMinn, Paull Mullen, Harold Seay and long-time bassist Albie Manno.
When you think of the 1970s you might think of the rise of bell-bottom jeans and disco balls, but it was also an era made famous by economic struggle, technological revolution and massive cultural change. Fast forward 45 years and some of those issues are still harrowingly reminiscent; 2020 has been a year consumed by crises such as the Australian bushfires and the Californian wildfires, Black Lives Matter protests and of course, the COVID-19 pandemic that shook the world to its core. ‘The Fate of the Word’ is a single that the band felt obligated to put out with a message that is as vital as ever.
The band members are all equally as excited about the new single and have reflected on the moral implications of the lyrics. Chris Perkins said: “if you are conscious about your surroundings, mentally, socially and economically with a deep concern for humanity and God and love for your fellow man and the environment, then Fate of the World addresses these issues in our society. It’s powerful, raw and its current. Unfortunately, it’s in real time.”
Raw Soul Express’ new single is characteristically syncopated and funky, containing delicious melodies and harmonies underscored by soulful bass and brass notes. In some ways, the single offers a form of escapism from the fateful reality we live in. But there are no preaching pleasantries, just simple, raw melodic symphonies and hard-hitting lyrics that entice the listener to confront the cataclysmic situation of the world.
The song itself was actually written by bassist and lead vocalist almost 25 years ago. Albie Manno said: “Because the song was written by myself and Rick some 25 years ago, I had no idea in 2019 when I was planning to make the video in 2020 what the images were going to be. To me, it just affirms that what we’ve been doing all along is what we were meant to do. As artists I believe we should reflect on the times, may they be good or bad.
“Caught in between, politics playing out the height of its dreams.
We can’t sit by, nothing’s as precious as one human life.”
Raw Soul Express directly ask the listener “is this the fate of the world?”
The lyrics are thought-provoking and raw. The video forces the viewer into a contemplative position as the observer, witnessing some scenes from the world’s most hard-hitting events through history and specifically 2020.
It is relevant yet timeless, and Raw Soul Express solidify their reputation as pioneers in the soul and funk scene by staying true to the genre with the track’s distinctive groove. The single is relevant yet timeless, inquisitive and self-aware: qualities that manifest as an honest commentary on the state of our global affairs.
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