2018 is the year of British jazz. Over the next eleven months, you’re going to hear more and more about the UK’s new school of jazz musicians. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to the folks who have been at it for a while. Manchester’s GoGo Penguin have been banging out their unique take on the genre since 2012 and have helped define the sound of contemporary British jazz in the process. In 2016 the trio signed to the most iconic jazz label in existence, Blue Note (the former home of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderly and any other jazz pioneer you could name) and released their third album Man Made Object. Now they’re preparing to follow it with new record A Humdrum Star.
Ahead of the album’s release next Friday, today the group have shared the video to their new single ‘Bardo’. Premiering today on Notion, the video takes inspiration from Plato’s allegory of the cave, depicting an elderly man in the dark, a shaft of light his only link to the outside world. As the song progresses, its pace accelerating as more layers of instrumentation build, the light changes and the man comes to a realisation; bathed in a yellow light he reaches skyward as the song ends with an abrupt final note. It’s an apt accompaniment to the track, which takes its name from the Buddhist term for the state between death and rebirth. Watch the video below.
Follow Mike Vinti on Twitter