New Zealand isn’t typically thought of when you ponder about bastions of soulful music. But that’s where a seven piece band called Fat Freddy’s Drop is from. The band from Wellington, New Zealand makes music typically thought of as a combination of reggae, soul, jazz and blues. On occasion, the band will also create sounds that have a more electronic sound.
Though they have been active since 1999, the group garnered international popularity in 2003 when its single “Midnight Marauder” was re-distributed by record labels and disc jockeys in Germany. The first songs the group put out, collected as “Live at the Matterhorn,” were released in 2001, and the first studio album, “Based on a True Story” (2005), is the highest selling album by a national artist in New Zealand history. Its second studio album, “Dr Boondigga & and the Big BW” (2009) was the number one selling album in New Zealand. And the most recent album, titled “Blackbird” (2013), was certified platinum in New Zealand. All of the albums were released on the band’s independent label, The Drop, which makes its commercial success even more impressive.
The huge mix of musical styles always makes Fat Freddy’s Drop an interesting listen. One song can have a stereotypical reggae sound, the next song can have an electronic sound to it and another could have a purely soul and funky sounding style. The band never gets stale no matter how often you listen to it, which is what makes the performers so interesting.
YouTube is a good place to listen to Fat Freddy’s Drop. Each album is filled with catchy and relaxing sounds. Here are some of their songs:
“Rain” (from “Live at the Matterhorn”) – It’s a long song, but you’ll love every second of it. There’s almost an island-like sound to it.
“Roady” (from “Based on a True Story”) – A really great song. This one also makes me think of the beach, as it has a reggae sound to it.
“Shiverman” (from “Dr. Boondigga and the Big BW”) – This song features a more electronic sound, and is more up-tempo.