Rudimental, the bass and band drum from the UK, just released their second studio album, We The Generation, on October 2, 2015. I’m going to be honest and say that I really hadn’t heard of them outside of their name occasionally coming up in the media and on Twitter. When Ed Sheeran announced that he was releasing a song with them, titled ‘Lay It All On Me,’ I was immediately intrigued, especially after I looked up their style of music. I’m very thankful for ‘Lay It All On Me’ because I realized that I’ve seriously been missing out. Rudimental are strictly an instrumental band and all of their tracks feature a vocalist. On We The Generation, they recorded with a total of 13 vocalists on an 18 track album. My favorite part of this album is the variety of voices.
L-R: Kesi Dryden, Leon Rolle (DJ Locksmith), Amir Amor, and Piers Agget
Rudimental began in 2011 after school friends Piers Agget, Kesi Dryden, and Leon Rolle, aka DJ Locksmith, started sharing and making music together. In March 2011, the band released their debut single ‘Deep in the Valley‘ featuring MC Shantie. Three months later in June, they released ‘Speeding’ featuring Adiyam. Later that year, they started working with Amir Amor as a record producer and songwriter. Their first collaboration produced ‘Feel the Love,’ ‘Not Giving In,’ and ‘Spoons.’ After that, they asked him to officially join the band.
In April 2013, the group released their debut album Home, after releasing singles ‘Feel the Love’ featuring John Newman, ‘Not Giving In,’ featuring Newman and Alex Clare, and ‘Waiting All Night,’ featuring Ella Eyre. ‘Hell Could Freeze,’ featuring Angel Haze, was released in January 2013 as a promotional free download ahead of the album release. Home debuted at number 1 on the UK charts and earned them nominations at the 2013 MTV EMAs.
Fast forward to 2015 and We The Generation. The first single of the album was their remix of Sheeran’s ‘Bloodstream,’ for which they received a writing credit on for his X album. Aside from that, all songs on the album are original and as previously stated, feature a wide variety of vocalists. The beat throughout the songs is a consistent sound and the gems in the album are the lyrics and the vocalists. Some songs are fast and get your heart racing. They’d be perfect on an exercise playlist. Others slow it down and pull together sounds and instruments that you wouldn’t think to put together. I could put this album on as background music to work and track how my mood goes. If I’m typing or writing, my speed goes with the song tempo.
I have a few favorites, of course. I like songs that I can relate to, and I’m such a sucker for quotable lyrics. My favorites are as follows:
‘Love Ain’t Just A Word‘ featuring Anne-Marie and Dizzee Rascal
This song has a fast beat with the chorus a repeat of a few lines repeated over and over, with Anne-Marie’s gorgeous voice matching the beat seamlessly.
“If love’s just a word, Why would it mess with my breathing?, And just like the air, you can’t see it there, But we know we need it”
“It’s in my heart, you could feel it there, It’s written in the stars, you could see it there, But we should make it last cause the feeling’s rare, The feeling’s rare, yeah”
‘Go Far‘ featuring Will Heard
I’m a traveler at heart and any song that expresses the desire to do so gets my attention. Like I said, I like relatable songs. This song in particular has a nice chill beat and a twangy electric guitar on the instrumental break towards the end.
“So many places to go and faces to see, I’m offering my hand now, won’t you come with me?, Cause we can go far, all the way around the world, Spreading love to all the boys and girls”
‘Lay It All On Me’, which I wrote about here and ‘Bloodstream‘ are two other favorites. I really like what they did with Bloodstream, because I adore the song in its original arrangement but this is a totally different take on it that gets dancing in my seat.
‘All That Love‘ featuring Anne-Marie
This song is gorgeous, with a violin at the very start and slow vocals that speed up over the lines and launch into a frenetic chorus over a fast drum beat.
“You got all that love with nowhere to go, You can’t get no release, All that love you were ready to blow, On something you’ve never seen, Say you’re gonna spend it, say you’re gonna spend it, Say you’re gonna spend it with me”
There are 18 incredible tracks on this album and I strongly encourage you to give it a listen, even if you think “oh, that’s not my type of music.” You might find that you were wrong about your musical taste and find a whole other band to discover.