Wellington band Raw Collective’s new album is warm, wide and eloquently corners a mix of funk and hip hop that’s often acoustic, sometimes brassy and constantly soulful.
Hailing from Te Whanganui-a-Tara, ‘The Good Things LP’ is Raw Collective’s fourth album since the band’s debut with their plaudited 2014 single Coins and confident 2018 debut album ‘For The Ancients’.
By now a 10-piece ensemble, the nine tracks of this (self-named) LP have a distinct range with its multi-instrumental mix of saxophones, guitar, drums, trumpet and bass. Enthusiastic, groovy and warm, this is a great introduction for Raw collective newcomers, with tracks ranging from slow and acoustic like Waiting For Sunrise, to the faster-paced Good Things and more rap-focused Just Desserts.
Vocalist Moira Jean delightfully takes the forefront assuming the role of lead vocalist on Calling and Darkmatter, her voice serving as a keen contrast to the more brash voices of Raw Deazy, Pauly Lowe and Chris CK in First Movement and Rainy Day.
The performances throughout, but notably Jean’s, are tight and considered beautifully, with the rest of the band coming together in a controlled and clear form between vocals and instrumentation.
Up-and-coming Kāpiti Coast artist Simloco also lends hip hop notes to Just Desserts and Good Things. The range of the album’s tempo ensuring that there’s almost certainly something in the album for everyone. No other local band has seemingly come close to the scale of Raw Collective’s enlivening 10-piece ensemble in recent years, but fans of Fat Feddy’s Drop or Strangely Arousing will surely find the band’s work appealing with their soulful hip hop and powerful funk.
‘The Good Things LP’ has been my own introduction to Raw Collective, and the album has definitely got me hooked on what else they might come out with in the future.