Nazarenes – “Meditation”
Earlier this week, Nazarenes released their latest record, Meditation, on I Grade Records. Two brothers, Noah and Medhane Tewolde, make up the group and originally hail from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Their family was of Eritrean descent and worked for Emperor Haile Selassie, a divine figure to Rastas, who made a big impression on Noah and Medhane. A Nazarene was a title designating someone in the community who had taken a vow of devotion. The Tewolde brothers share a devotion to their craft and the music community. Nazarenes’ style of reggae stresses the link between the African diaspora and the rest of the world.
“We sing from experience and with the belief that Marcus Garvey’s call for ‘One Aim, One Aim, One Destiny’ is possible across borders.” – Medhane Tewolde
Their new album, Meditation, finds Nazarenes working with Laurent ‘Tippy I’ Alfred, from the island of St Croix in the US Virgin Islands, where the social consciousness of Rastafarian beliefs are still an important influence to the music of the region. This is the first album that I Grade Records have released by an African group. Producer Alfred says the album, “represents the unifying force that roots reggae has always been.” You can hear the connection between cultures on this impressive album. The title track, featured above, opens with a meditative chant sung in English as well as the ancient Ethiopic language of Ge’ez. The song sets the tone for the record which is loaded with dub reggae filled with sweet harmonies, rock and pop melodies, soaring horns and inspirational lyrics. Meditation stresses global harmony and protecting others who are less fortunate, while improving the environment for everyone. All of this comes bundled with a terrific set of music that will find you dancing around the room with an uplifted spirit. If you want some fresh, timeless roots reggae, look for Meditation in your local record store.