There is a sparkle in the guys’ eyes when I tell them that Saarkie is made up of 3 girls playing their own instruments. This band gate crashed my life just a few short years ago and at first I thought that this rock band from Pretoria was just another teenage Afrikaans dream, but since I’ve gotten to know them and their music that idea flew right out of the window.
Adele Fouche, Lourene Mosterd and Lila Botha went from a full on 5 member group to 3 and have been playing anywhere and everywhere over the last few years. Not only do I have the pleasure of knowing these girls and surviving a festival or four with them, but they are just such awesome chicks. I’m pretty sure Adele is going to kick my little green cow arse for saying this, but you have to see them to understand.
It’s been way too long since Saarkie released new music but in November 2014 they released their studio album “Reisiger” (or “Traveler” for the English folks out there). Judging by the title alone, one gets the idea that these three girls travel a lot with their music. From Dullstroom to Nelsparta to Cape Town to Mashiheng (Lydenburg) Saarkie has played venues all around South Africa.
These 3 ladies have music degrees (some of them even have their masters in music) and since that is out there let me start to tell you why you need to get their album. You can play Saarkie’s music to your grandmother and she will like it (and even love you for it).
The opening track “Dullstroom” is one of my favourites and it doesn’t actually mention Dullstroom (a small town just a 2 hour drive from Johannesburg and home to the Dullstroom Winter Festival in Mpumalanga). I think anyone who is holding on to some old “love” can relate to the song. I love it. There’s no other way to describe it.
A lot of Afrikaans music (especially non-rock) is the subject of criticism because most of the bands / artists
don’t write their own music. This is not the case with Saarkie though. Adele’s interpretations of everyday life stories and personal experiences makes “Reisiger” a true treasure. Song writers like Jan Blohm, Tshepo de Hope, Swart Maria and Zanda Greeff have either collaborated with them / co-writing songs on the album and it’s a well balanced recipe.
“One Love” (which features Tshepo on the rap beat) is song that might work well with the march against Xenophobia but could also be used to address other issues and I love Jan Blohm’s input on “Nader aan my”. Adele and Jan’s voices melt together like melted chocolate in hot choco, just yummy. Sean Manley mixed the album and together with Zanda Greeff they have produced a piece of heaven. Make up artist Suna Robberts did a fantastic job with the girls and one can sense that a lot of work has been put in the album.
Check out Saarkie’s video for their song, “Somerjare” below:
All in all Saarkie brought us, the public, an album that you simply can’t ignore. It’s also a group you shouldn’t try to put in a box. The box will find you and eat have you for breakfast, I tell you. These girls have been on a journey for such a long time that all of that experience and things they’ve seen and unseen are evident in their music.
I give Saarkie 8 of 10 wolf howls for originality, for creativity in songs and for delivering such a quality product for fans who have been waiting for a long time.
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