Following the release of their critically acclaimed sixth studio album ‘100% YES’, Melt Yourself Down share a poignant rework of their single, ‘Born in the Manor’, featuring a powerful spoken word verse by Shabaka Hutchings with Anna Calvi contributing on guitar.
In line with the current climate of protest and self-examination, the band have been offering the track up as a platform for collaboration with other artists to explore and comment on all the issues surrounding us currently. During their ‘100% Isolated’ Instagram series during lockdown, the band reconnected with both Shabaka and Anna who appeared separately on these chats, and so this first collaboration naturally followed. “We were blown away by Shabaka’s words. And when Anna sent us her mournful guitar part, we knew we had something really special here.”
‘Born in the Manor’ shines a light on the pressing and timely realities of life in Britain today, commemorating the three-year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Amidst looming synths and staccato brass, as Kush’s vocals morph from menacing speak-raps to a desperate wail, the song’s poignant and thought-provoking lyrics indict the powers that be whose negligence allowed the West London fire to happen with still no prosecutions three years on: “Born in the manor / Born in the gutter / For dem it don’t matter / Blacker, whiter, browner / You burn in a tower.”
Kush explains: “It’s harrowing. Those lyrics are a shout against the authorities for not really caring whether you’re black white or brown.”
Formed in 2012 by Mercury nominated sax innovator Pete Wareham and fronted by vocalist Kush Gaya, Melt Yourself Down rose from the ashes of Pete’s previous outfit Acoustic Ladyland and from everything he learned with Polar Bear. His work in reinventing and defying musical genres has paved the way for acts such as Comet is Coming, Black Flower and Sons of Kemet, to name a handful.
Described by The Quietus as “the album of tomorrow”, the new record has set the bar for today’s music innovators and presents an unflinching focus on what it means to be British in today’s political and social climate. Working with production legends Youth and Ben Hillier, the band have reimagined themselves and created a bruising re-up of their signature sound with added synths, anthems and epic joyrides. It is a timely document of the increasingly complex nature of humanity, whilst at the same time bubbles with excitement and hopefulness.
“So much has changed in the world since we started writing in 2016” says Pete. “We couldn’t ignore any of it and this new music is borne from our feelings of extreme cultural restlessness”.
‘100% YES’ is out now.