Soweto quartet Urban Village are a product of their surroundings. It’s manifested in their 12-track debut album Udondolo, a vibrant showcase of their traditional roots that blends folk with elements of rock, funk, mbaqanga and isicathamiya. The band worked closely with French producer Frédéric Soulard in polishing and rounding out their amalgamated style. And in their accompanying lyrics, Urban Village speak directly to communities and urge them to come together for the sake of South Africa’s future. They emphasise messages of unity beyond colour and genre to build a fortified nation (“Sakhisizwe”) and salute the hard-working fathers providing for families while reflecting on the impact of apartheid (“Ubaba”). Elsewhere, on “Izivunguvungu”, they anticipate overcoming the hardships of everyday life in the hope of enjoying a better tomorrow.

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