Academie release amazing new single entitled ‘Battles’


Great Scott! Academie has released their first new single in nearly two years. This is a confirmation of the Johannesburg-based band’s ability to craft a pop soundscape that places them alongside those pushing the frontiers of the genre on the global scene.

Titled ‘Battles’, the single is the follow-up to 2016’s groundbreaking EP, Volumes and is the first of a slate of songs to be released in 2018. Together these will form the basis a new EP by Jean-Louise and Alex Parker, the duo who comprise Academie.

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‘Battles’ opens with a grimy synth that artfully backdrops the 80s-inspired groove and expansive vocals threaded throughout this magnetic track. It’s a mix of dark and light that reflects the dualism that Academie readily embraces: in their self-contained musical world, pre-recorded samples, vocal reverb and loops are as central to the sound as the viola, guitar and saxophone.

Academie - Battles
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Lyrically, ‘Battles’ throws into sharp relief the insistent, and unending, skirmishes over issues (politics, gender, land, religion, take your pick) that define the current moment. “Load the gun/bang of drums / Praise the sun / Battles won,” Jean-Louise intones with a delicacy that belies the song’s potent social commentary.

You are probably intrigued, so crank up ‘Battles’ below or click here to see which streaming options you have to hear it.

I have to admit that this isn’t my normal cup of tea, but ‘Battles’ is probably one of the best produced songs that I’ve heard in 2018. I am completely blown away by how awesome it sounds. There’s some really great South African music out there, you just have to look for it…

I haven’t seen Academie live yet, but I think I should make an effort. They are playing at Rocking The Daisies in October, so that’s an ideal opportunity to experience their live performance. I better start saving up for a plane ticket…

Watch this space for updates in the Music category on Running Wolf’s Rant.



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