Brooklyn-based roots pop group Karikatura will release their new EP Speak Now on Ropeadope Records April 15th 2016. Building on their acclaimed full length Eyes Wide (Ropeadope 2014) Speak Now features four songs that address the ghosts in our society: racism and white supremacy, gun violence, war and identity. The music on Speak Now is stylistically diverse, yet unied by Karikatura’s characteristic sound: blazing horns, reggae guitars and Afro-Latin rhythms delivered with punk-rock energy.
Karikatura just wrapped up the US leg of their #GlobalBarrio tour, playing across 12 states in a month. While on the road, they launched their new Suitcase Series, recording unique videos of their favorite covers in the van, on a ski-lift and beyond. Check those out and stay tuned for more!
Back in NYC, they will celebrate the release of Speak Now at Bowery Electric on April 14th with Yotoco and Fulaso, before kicking off their fifth European tour this spring.
On the lead single “Ghost Town ft. Akil B Strange,” which premiered on Relix in February, Karikatura teams up with Queens rapper Akil B Strange to deliver a haunting hip-hop/cumbia reimagination of The Specials classic song, “Ghost Town.” In their hands, the song takes on new meaning, addressing gentrification, official neglect and police violence and institutional and cultural racism in the US and around the world.
Continuing in that vein, “White Lies” is a blazing merengue/hip-hop/punk song about the seductive lies of Whiteness. Singer Ryan Acquaotta intones, “Got no love for cop killers/No love for killer cops/But I can see who’s got the power/From the top to the bottom/From the bottom to the top.”
“Barrio Nuevo,” which premiered on Latino Rebels in March, is a cumbia/salsa song that calls for an end to mass gun violence in our country, but also asks us to look deeper for the roots of that violence in our country’s history and culture.
On “Miesto,” guitarist and bandleader Dima Kay sings a laid-back rock-reggae ode to his birthplace, Kiev, Ukraine, which has been engulfed in war for several years. “Miesto” asks what it means to be ‘from’ somewhere, while national armies wage war over resources and borders. This struggle for identity is relevant in the US as well, where conflicts continue to arise as different groups fight to define what it means to be ‘American.’
This is a crucial moment in our country’s history. On Speak Now, Karikatura adds its voice to the conversation with characteristic self-reection, positivity and clarity, in their unique transglobal style.