Givers home town Louisiana is like no other American state. Named after a French king, it's a fertile melting pot of French, Cajun, Spanish, Native American and African cultures. The Bayou State oozes history, heritage, myth, magic - and a proud, defiant independence. And if you want to hear music of the bayou which has been updated, rebooted, rocked-up, reenergised and mixed in with another vibrant regionalist musical form, Zydeco, then please be upstanding. Because once you hear the exuberant likes of 'Up Up Up' and 'Meantime' you won't be sitting for long. Salute to the party music of 2011.
We give you. Givers.
Givers was formed by Taylor Guarisco (singer & guitarist) and Tiffany Lamson (singer, ukulele & percussionist), who met at the University of New Orleans. When Hurricane Katrina hit, it forced the two back to their home of Lafayette where they met Kirby Campbell (drums, programming & vocals), Nick Stephan (keyboards & flute) and Josh LeBlanc (bass guitar) and began to form the basis for Givers. For the next year, the band went to work melding Guarisco's passion for the sounds of New Orleans ignited by his time spent in Cajun and Zydeco bands and Lamson's love of rock, pop and improvised jams into finely-honed songs for a debut EP.
The UK release of 'In Light' mixed by Ben Allen (Animal Collective, Yeasayer) follows sold-out US tours with Dirty Projectors, appearances on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, big-ups from Huw Stephen's at SXSW 2011 plus endless adoration for their unparalleled exhilarating live show. 'In Light' runs the gamut of all the bands influences but all the while sounding decidedly Givers.
Their magnificent debut single 'Up Up Up' hop-skipped and jumped its way onto the Radio 1 'In New Music We Trust' playlist and was Fearne Cotton's 'Record of the Week'. 'Up Up Up' was also added to 6 Music's and XFM's playlists.
New single 'Meantime' is another classic-in-waiting, an epic 5 minute tapestry of interweaving vocals and percussion - escalating to a full on Cajun funk out. Bombay Bicycle Club and Deerhoof have both turned in exceptional remixes of 'Meantime'. 'Go Out At Night' is a woozy, late-night blues song that builds to a soulful, organ-heavy climax. Then there's 'Ripe' and 'Atlantic' which bring Lamson's cracked-sob of a voice centre stage. 'Ceiling Of Plankton', meanwhile, demonstrates their intuitive way with a surreal lyric. Then there's pleasure-pusher 'Noche Nada' which buoyantly chases summertime with its wide-eyed melodies and ecstatic handclaps.
'In the Light' is the most rewarding and joyous album you'll hear all year. The Lafayette, Louisiana-based five-piece are nothing short of ebullient, tying together ecstatic ribbons of melodies into songs that leave you no choice but to smile upon hearing them.