Falle Nioke teams up with band members from Michael Kiwanuka and Sault for an odyssey into afro-disco, jazz and grunge
Born out of an impromptu post-pub jam session in Margate, the 5-piece group Pigeon swoops onto the scene with their blistering debut EP Yagana.
As the tracks cross effortlessly between Afro-disco, grunge, no wave and jazz, the cohesive symbiotic relationship of the band members is obvious from the start. The powerful vocals of Guinean singer Falle Nioke are complemented by a wealth of talent from Graham Godfrey on drums, Steve Pringle on keys, Tom Dream on guitar and Josh Ludlow on bass.
Having moved to the UK from West Africa in 2018, Falle Nioke has recently been in the spotlight following recent collaborations with Ghost Culture which were supported by indie radio and BBC 6 Music playlisters. On Yagana, he continues to sing in a multitude of languages, but this time shifts towards a more organic musical direction, showcasing his incredible versatility as a vocalist.
This new path can be attributed to the pedigree of the rest of the group – including veteran musicians Steve Pringle and Graham Godfrey who are key members of Michael Kiwanuka’s band, Godfrey also performing with Little Simz, Cleo Sol and SAULT, among others.
The Yagana EP is an emotionally-charged offering, exploring themes of lust, saudade, homesickness, and hope for peace. The title track ‘Yagana’ translates to “it’s been a while”, and though its up-tempo disco rhythm and wild synth solos lend a cheerful disposition, the lyrics describe a melancholic yearning for Africa.
Recorded in a single weekend, Pigeon’s Yagana EP is a clear testament to each member’s skilfulness and varied experiences, creating a fullyfledged being that is greater than the sum of its parts. With an opening hand like this, we await with bated breath to see what more the humble Pigeon can bring to the world.