The Very Best’s—European production duo Radioclit and Malawian singer Esau Mwamwaya—debut full-length Warm Heart of Africa will be released October 6 on Green Owl. The much-anticipated album is already receiving critical acclaim here and in the U.K. GQ, SPIN, Rolling Stone, MOJO, The Guardian, among many others, have hailed The Very Best’s debut effort.
The band will return to the U.S. this fall for a national tour, including dates in New York City at Le Poisson Rouge on October 21 and Los Angeles at Echoplex on October 24 (please see below for complete confirmed dates). Autographed CD-and-ticket bundles will be available for purchase in advance of select shows.
Warm Heart of Africa follows the surprising global success of Esau Mwamwaya & Radioclit Are The Very Best, a free mixtape made available online late last year. Without promotional assistance or financial support, the collection of well-known pop, dance, afro and indie tracks remixed by Radioclit featuring Mwamwaya’s singing in Chichewa, Swahili, Portuguese and English charted more than 200,000 downloads and was hailed by tastemakers including Pitchfork, FADER, and Gorilla vs. Bear, among many others.
The Very Best is receiving critical acclaim for its high-energy live performances and forthcoming album in the wake of its first U.S. tour. In a “Best New Music” track review of the first single “Warm Heart of Africa,” which features Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, Pitchfork describes Mwamwaya as “one of the most effortlessly lovable voices around.”
Rolling Stone jokes, in its four-star review of the song, which contains an ELO reference in one lyric, “Somewhere Jeff Lynne is confused but happy.” LA Weekly calls the band “one of the best antidotes for LA traffic frustration.” San Francisco Bay Guardian warns, “Brace yourself for hazardous dance floor anthems well-fed on the homegrown African sounds of high-life and marabi, as well as bass-laden pop grooves from, well, all over the globe.” And, following the band’s New York City concert, GQ.com says, “We’re curious to see if the folks who swoon for Vampire Weekend’s Graceland-y rock and M.I.A’s revolution party beats will be ready to follow the music to its logical next step. We are.” The Very Best embodies a without-borders approach to music-making that could only happen in the 21st century.
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The Very Best Performances:
October 21 New York, NY CMJ Showcase—Le Poisson Rouge
October 23 San Francisco, CA 103 Harriet
October 24 Los Angeles, CA Echoplex
October 29 Chicago, IL Bottom Lounge
October 30 Toronto, ON Wrongbar
November 1 Boston, MA Great Scott
November 2 Washington, D.C. DC9
November 3 Philadelphia, PA Johnny Brenda’s
(more dates to be announced)