Thao and The Get Down Stay Down’s infectious form of restless and rhythmic pop returns with We The Common – a record that enjoys flirting with new ideas and genres – but never loses sight of its own originality. Thao and her crew still sound as buoyant and ready to roll as ever. The lead singer’s almost jumpy and unique delivery is once more reveling in the beats – and the band are still dropping in various shades of instrumentation to shake it up and keep it fresh.
Opener We The Common (For Valerie Bolden) runs with a cyclical banjo like a funky form of American Country Folk. Lyrically Thao’s work with California Coalition for Women Prisoners adds an emotional weight to the song. Human Heart meanwhile is fuelled like a Soul train – the brass inspiring the band lounge a little – laying it down like they are in 60s Memphis. And then there’s the duet with Joanna Newsom – Kindness Be Conceived – the two singers harmonising upon the old time folk rhythm – it’s an absolute gem.
Thao is an artist with a passion for everything she is involved with – which is why she feels so relevant. And her latest with the Get Down Stay Down is another fine contribution to her ever-growing collection.