It’s the eerie, almost haunting, strumming that opens Flamingods’ new track ‘Kewali’ that makes you sit up and listen. The fragile string intro suggests something raw and emotional, sad and longing – cold, even – but the swift interjection of percussion and Kamal Rasool’s vocals takes the listener somewhere warm and cosy, inviting them into the bosom of the track’s emotion rather than keeping them locked outside.
Formed in Bahrain, Flamingods are a band that patterns their sound with a multitude of genres and instruments, having been influenced by music from places as far flung as Japan, Tanzania and the Amazon. On ‘Kewali’, the band embraces a sound tinted with 60s pyschedelica and folk music, a sound dense with layers of hazy strings and percussion that hums with a homely intimacy.
This changes just as the track reaches a lull around the halfway mark, the gentle, trundling rhythm suddenly replaced by a more driving, uptempo urgency before ushering in a guitar riff to round things off. Amidst all of this chop and change, Rasool’s voice takes on a harder edge. “When will you learn that we don’t belong?” he sings on a track that explores the space between comfort and discomfort, satisfaction and agitation.