The sounds coming from the five musicians on stage were jazzy, funky, hip-hop like, and smooth — but there was something else. I want to say mystical. I want to say tribal. A deep melodic chant combined with drums, keyboard, guitar, and bass that put the audience in a trance. A kind of trance that makes you want to move.
On Thursday night, The Flowdown played at Sullivan Hall in Greenwich Village. It wasn’t until their set came on, and their music flooded the room, that the audience really started to dance. The vibes in the bar were suddenly enhanced by their sound which seemed to flow so naturally. It was like the audience was injected with a drug.
They played songs from their album Metamorphosis, which not only contains beautiful music, but an engaging and genuine message. Part of Metamorphosis’ message is about realizing that even with all the movement in the world, and the constant change, there is still something inside of you that stays the same. It’s about finding contentment in the moment.
“We want people to relate to us,” says Gavi Grodsky, guitarist and vocalist of The Flowdown. “People from all walks of life.”
What makes The Flowdown’s music so great is that, aside from being instrumentally striking, the lyrics are equally penetrating. They are all honest expressions about life, truth, and coming to terms with reality. Lyrics that anyone can connect to, be moved or even healed by.
“We’re relieving the audience’s pain,” says Srikala Kerel Roach, who plays mrdunga percussion and sings vocals. “We’re opening their eyes, opening their hearts, making them wanna dance, making them wanna let go. Healing on all levels.”
Tico Chango, an activist and artist who has known the band for two years, describes The Flowdown’s music as “diverse funkiness— with a bit of world music mixed in.” But it’s hard to put a label on such a unique sound.
“You know I’ve given up a long time ago. People always ask, ‘The Flowdown, what kind of band is that? Is it a jazz band? Is it a funk band?’ says Lavondo Thomas, the bass guitarist. “I feel that everyone has their own aesthetic. Leave it up to the audience to take away from it what they take away from it.”
posted by niko nelson
via jennie ochshorn
photo credit: lindsay peters