Hejira's soulful, alternative pop brings together layered vocals and effortless guitar lines with slinky, lo-fi beats, as heard on their 2019 sophomore album, Thread of Gold.
Formed in 2010 in London, the group originally started out as a four-piece featuring the talents of Sam Beste (vocals, guitar), Rahel Debebe-Dessalegne (vocals, bass), Alex Reeve (lead guitar), and Alexis Nunez (drums), after meeting as session musicians for the likes of Amy Winehouse, Floating Points, and Nitin Sawhney. Combining their eclectic styles, embracing everything from prog-rock, jazz, world music, and electronica, Hejira set up their own studios, the House of Dreams, in North London to focus on recording their debut album. With their music catching the ear of composer and DJ Matthew Herbert, he instantly signed the band, helping co-produce their debut, 2013's Prayer Before Birth and releasing it via his Accidental Records label. The group started their own club night, TRAUM, which saw them hosting the best of the city's more eclectic acts, including Micachu and the Shapes, Kwabs, and Eska. The self-released mixtape, TRAUMTAPES, was also issued in 2013. Following up the album in 2015 with the EP Name Surname, on Floating Points' Eglo Records, the group decided to release all their future recordings in-house, christening their own label, Lima Limo, with its first release, The Lima Limo Ceremony EP, which appeared in 2016.
The group set about recording their sophomore album soon after, with some of the writing inspired by Debebe-Dessalegne's pilgrimage to her father's home country of Ethiopia after he sadly passed away. Bringing back those Ethiopian influences, the now-trio -- after Nunez had left to pursue his work with the Kooks -- rebuilt their studio in South London, before recording and delivering their dreamy, laid-back, second album, Thread of Gold, in early 2019. ~ Rich Wilson