Our Story by Molo The Band

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

Berthold Auerbach

Have you ever discovered an album that left you feeling mad at yourself for not discovering it sooner? Well, Our Story by Molo The Band was that album for me.

Through their 10-track debut album, Molo The Band narrates a story of love, hope, joy, community and resilience. The band’s contemporary African sound which also incorporates universal musical elements is easy on the ear and soothing to the soul. The soothing element of the music stems from the familiarity of that jazzy funk feel coupled with the relatability of their lyrical content. In this week’s #AOTW instalment, we explore the band’s debut album Our Story.

I think we all have that one song or playlist (for the overachievers) that gets us going, especially on those days when all you want to do is stay in bed. It’s that song that gets you through traffic on a Monday morning or simply gets you through the assignment you had to complete at the eleventh hour. In essence, it’s a feel good song and if you have no idea what I’m referring to then just listen to Smile and the world will be in equilibrium once more. The melody will have you moving ever so slightly and before you know it, you are smiling. And it’s not by chance, it was and still is the band’s intention to get the audience feeling good from the onset. As lead singer Siyasanga Papu says, “I’m on a mission to put a spring in your step; to sing a song until your blues just fade away“. If anything, this song is a gentle reminder that some of the best things in life are free.

One of those free goodies that is oddly not always well received is truth. Sadhguru once said that truth is not for comfort, it’s for liberation. Liberation is not limited to physical access but also translates to freedom of thoughts and behaviour. The beauty of music is that it can express that which seems inexpressible. Historically, music has been instrumental in driving social commentary towards one end or another. In any setting it takes a level of courage to point out the crocked puzzle piece and I’m impressed that Molo The Band took it upon themselves to address the silent killers at a individual and societal level in the songs Ema, Pieces, and Ndililela.

As we grow we come to realize that there is no saviour that is going to descend and rescue us from the ills and misfortunes we face. What we often fail to realize is that we are the system and we must change in order for change to come. Being complacent is a luxury that we simply cannot afford. In Ndililela is a cry for South Africa. Through this song, the band offers commentary on the debilitating state of a promising nation. In her honed soprano, Siyasanga, juxtaposes the ideal splendour of Mzansi and her people with the reality of the sadness and suffering luring in the air; notwithstanding the hope of a better tomorrow. However, hope alone is not enough to bring about a different result. One has to roll up their sleeves and work on making the change; a phenomena that is well articulated in Pieces.

Now if you have gone through some stuff or have compromised tear duct then I do not recommend that you listen to Pieces for the first time in the presence of people unless you don’t mind crying a river during the people. It is guaranteed to pull on your heartstrings and awaken you to the harsh reality of being alone in a world filled with people. However, there’s a silver-lining. Towards the end of the song, as the tears dry up and your spirit is revived you will be reminded that in the end everything works out, so keep going. You have come this far, you might as well see it through because you can.

Enough with the heavy material though, let’s move on to the light-hearted chapters of this story…

With the smell of spring looming in the air, the summer dresses, floral shorts and flip flops are already negotiating with the winter coats and boots for the front seat in our closets. The afternoon braais and pool parties are loading and we can all agree that Kuyoba Mnandi this summer (ceteris paribus). This song sounds and feels like a good time, it’s vibrant and from the 10th second of the song you are already sold on the idea of burning meat (tshis’inyama).

The band’s genius is well encapsulated in Yakhal’ingoma as they weave through a Miriam Makeba interpolation. In the song the singer narrates how her heart sings every time she sees her partner. The band is working on a music video for the song, I’m excited to see how the band’s visual interpretation of the song.

You know how a DJ would play the best song last and as soon as the song ends, the lights go off and the audience must begrudgingly go home? That is exactly what Molo The Band did with Celebrate and Your Life. These are the last two songs on the album. Celebrate comes right after the therapy session in Pieces. They really intended on getting the listener out of the slumber as quickly as they slid into it. Do away with your blues and put on your dancing shoes, now the dancing shoes could be shoes and you might just be gliding between the fridge and the kitchen sink, but you will feel just as good.

Music is meant to repair and revive you at a soul level. Allow yourself to enjoy the music and leave the rest to the melody.

Molo The Band is an independent sextet from Pretoria. The ensemble was founded in 2013 and started performing in April 2014. In the latter half of 2014, the band started recording their own music which would become their debut album. Molo The Band is made up of Siyasanga Papu (vocalist), Karabo Dibodu (keys), Tshegofatso Didibeng (keys), Kgotso Vilakazi (drums), Ntsikelelo Mcwabe (trumpet), and Mogau Mamabolo (bass).

For booking enquires email molotheband@gmail.com or call 084 070 4488.