Love & Fire

Love & Fire

Divided during lockdown, reggae veterans The Black Seeds didn’t just pivot to developing their songs together remotely. The Aotearoa eight-piece tapped the extended pause for continued lyrical inspiration on their seventh studio album. These songs preach perseverance during uncertain times, from the much-tested optimism described in “Game Over” to the rousing call to respect and support others in “Greatest Expectations.” The key theme is that we’re not in it alone, and The Black Seeds’ warm, expansive sound can’t help but reinforce that at every step. Love is also a constant source of motivation here, both in the vintage dub of the title track and amidst the Stax Records-style guitar licks of “Raised With Love.” Those grounded emotional concerns don’t prevent the band’s signature party vibe from reaching its full potential, though. Simply cue up “It’s So Real,” a robust psych/funk groover guided by Barnaby Weir’s reassuring vocals.

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