On our Lists this week: Biko’s Ghost, The Kyle Shepherd Trio and H.E.R.


The Kyle Shepherd Trio: A Portrait of Home. Hayi suka, we would be but dust and ash and a mass of grey regrets without music. While trying to block out the noise from my workspace, I searched for anything I haven’t heard from the Kyle Shepherd Trio and I’ve been under their influence for a full week, not yet ready to come out. My favourite tracks are A Hymn for Us and Bibliography of Bondage, followed closely by Coline’s Rose. This album is from 2012. (MB)

Sleepy’s Theme: The Vinyl Room. For years I kept searching for this “missing” Sleepy Brown album with little success, only to find out the other day that I was looking under the wrong name. The Vinyl Room was released under the band name Sleepy’s Theme in 1998, catching the Dungeon Family collective at the peak of their powers. It was intentionally swathed in a vinyl-like crackle and some parts are, frankly, difficult to listen to. This is not because they are subpar, but because the nostalgia they evoke is too much to handle. (KS)

H.E.R.: H.E.R. Vol. 2. On her second EP, H.E.R.’s sound is just as sweet and ethereal-sounding as it was on her debut. Showcasing the same smooth and light, smoky vocals, she again locks into her femininity, delivering equal parts vulnerability and confidence. With H.E.R. Vol. 2, the emerging American singer cements her distinctly original sound, painting her character full of colour and making the listener forget that they know nothing about her. (RS)


I’m not yet ready to divulge my findings of Shakti Malan’sSexual Awakening for Women: A Tantric Workbook, the book I’m going to bed with every evening. I’ve also been distracted by the discovery of my father’s writing about his side of the family and who those people were. (MB)

Shannen L Hill: Biko’s Ghost: The Iconography of Black Consciousness (University of Minnesota Press). This Smithsonian Institute fellow’s tome performs double duty, functioning as something of a history of the Black Consciousness Movement as well as an appraisal of the artists who have aligned themselves with the movement over the years. It includes a nifty critique of the Richard Attenborough film Cry Freedom or, more precisely, its tendency to portray its subject as “a patient teacher who instructs the audience about black values, reality and history … even after death”. (KS)

The Lists are compiled by Friday editor Milisuthando Bongela, arts writer Kwanele Sosibo and sub-editor Refiloe Seiboko

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