Naples, Florida’s very own reggae/rock back Sowflo released their Marc Lee produced record New Shows on the 15th March. The laid-back 10 track record is a follow up to their debut Such is Life, which reached number five on the reggae billboard charts in 2016.
It opens with “Amalia” featuring Nick Grim’s trombone and Daniel Danger’s guitar while the vocals simply flow. It’s perfect for people who like to sit in the sun. It’s a tune about addiction and a girl who once looked like a beauty queen, but life in addiction strips humanity mentally and bodily. The relaxed sound can be played in contradiction for the loved ones like “Brown Sugar” is played on love song compilations.
Vocalist Jacob Dorris’ soothing skills on the mic are hypnotic, the feeling of songs such as “New Shoes” and “Farmer in Suburbia” is contemplative, the latter about medical cannabis. The tunes are how you’d expect them to be with the reggae genre attached. The trumpets and beats are a fit to these stories they tell us. For instance “Rich Man” could easily be seen as a love song, telling us they have no money, but if they did would give their loved one all they wanted: “I ain’t no rich man, but everything I own I give it all to you”.
There’s a nice addition of keyboards on “Morning Thunder”, its energy gets me like Finley Quaye’s “Even After All”. Their beat pulls me in as a tune should. Finishing with “I Don’t Think (Change the World)”, the album as a whole is an interesting introduction to a genre I know little about and this being the last track, it offers us a more of a rockier sound compared to the rest of the LP.
The sense of chilled music with deep and occasionally meaningful lyrics puts me in a relaxed mood while making me think about “Amalia” and the farmer who sells medical marijuana. Sowflo are storytellers of emotion and the sound adds a different dynamic to each song they perform.