Born out of an impromptu post-pub jam session in Margate, the five-piece group swoops onto the scene with their blistering debut EP, Yagana.
Having moved to the UK from West Africa in 2018, Guinean singer Falle Nioke has recently been in the spotlight with EPs heavily supported by indie radio and BBC 6 Music playlisters. With his band, Pigeon, his powerful vocals are complemented by a wealth of talent, from Graham Godfrey on drums to Steve Pringle on keys, Tom Dream on guitar and Josh Ludlow on bass. Steve Pringle and Graham Godfrey are both veteran musicians, key members of Michael Kiwanuka’s band, the latter having performed with Little Simz, Cleo Sol and SAULT, among others. Their music effortlessly skips between Afro-disco, grunge, no wave and jazz, with Nioke singing in a multitude of languages.
The Yagana EP is an emotionally-charged offering, exploring themes of lust, saudade, homesickness, and the hope for peace. The title track translates to “it’s been a while” and, though its up-tempo disco rhythm and wild synth solos, creates a cheerful disposition, with lyrics describing a melancholic yearning for West Africa. Nioke describes the struggle of being separated from family, as well as hustling from afar to support them financially. Recorded in a single weekend, the EP is a clear testament to each member’s skilfulness and varied experiences, creating a fully-fledged being that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Yagana by Pigeon, out on November 19 via Soundway Records.