Blending rock, soul, blues and gospel, OffWorld is new musical output from Hard-Fi‘s Richard Archer and acclaimed musicians; Krysten Cummings, Wolsey White, Smiley Barnard and Dale Davis.
Speaking about the new single, Archer says: “We originally conceived and wrote ‘I Found Out’ after the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson and the subsequent protests that broke out across the country. The track features dialogue from emergency service radio heard during the confusion of the following days. I recall Krysten improvising the chorus and what you hear is her first, improvised take – pouring out her anger and frustration.”
Krysten Cummings adds, “These lyrics were written five years ago but sadly mirror what is happening today and has been happening since – “Struggling To Breathe In St Louis.”
We didn’t conceive ‘I Found Out’ as a ‘single’ – it is over seven minutes long and we don’t really see it as such, we just felt strongly that it should be available at this time.
We are bleeding / this constant feeling / The Holy Father has left the building
The previous OffWorld release, the Brave To Be Alive EP includes singles ‘Brave To Be Alive’ and ‘Burnt Out Star’. ‘Brave To Be Alive’ was accompanied by a video inspired by brave women all over the world. Footage taken from demonstrations filmed in Chile, El Salvador, Mexico, Spain and Italy of women performing the global feminist Hymn created by Las Tesis. Their Hymn condemns the judicial system’s failure to protect women, and their rights around the globe, and raises awareness on the culture of violence against women.
OffWorld comprises Richard Archer (vocals/electric piano), who is known for fronting Mercury and twice Brit Award nominated Hard-Fi, along with Krysten Cummings (vocals), an accomplished singer/songwriter who has featured on countless house and techno tracks as a top line singer and writer, and also a star of stage and screen, receiving prestigious award nominations for her role as Mimi Marquez in the Toronto and London West End productions of groundbreaking musical, Rent before taking the part to Broadway.
On drums is respected writer and producer, Steve ‘Smiley’ Barnard, who has worked with many of the UK’s leading artists, most notably Joe Strummer, playing with The Mescaleros on two world tours. Dale Davis – musical director, bassist and friend of multi Grammy award winning artist Amy Winehouse – completes the line-up on bass, having also worked with many of the UK’s top artists including Mark Ronson and Emile Sande.
OffWorld began jamming old gospel, soul and funk numbers in Archer’s West London studio. Working in breaks between schedules, the debut album, Burnt Out Star slowly coalesced. Influenced by soul, blues, gospel, funk, jazz and rock. No limits or constraints were imposed.
‘I Found Out’ is out now.
Photo: Bob Wing