The Hempolics – Full Of Surprises

• “Full Of Surprises” original music video. Thanks to hempolics.

8.5 “Excellent Reggae from England”

Single release in December, 2019. From their forthcoming second album ‘Kiss, Cuddle & Torture: Volume 2’, scheduled for April, 2020.

The Londoners currently line-up as: Grippa Laybourne (dub FX, keys), Nubiya Brandon (vocals), Dandelion (vocals), Harry Collier (vocals, guitar), Leon King (guitar), Lorenzo (bass) and Craig Boorman (drums).

Grippa describes this one as a “dark, winter Portishead trip-hop meets dub track but with Nubiya’s pop vocals” and remarked that “we used synth bass instead of live bass to create an even darker, dirty sound. Bass leads the way on the track.” I’d concur with that; it’s a phat, wobbly and woozy affair, with a certain darkness which puts me in mind of ‘Ghost Town’ as does the video itself, filmed as it is with the group in a car in London, and a prevailing sense of eeriness.

Speaking of her lyrics, Nubiya says that it’s a a window into her 17-year-old self, and that it’s probably the darkest and most introspective song she’s ever written. It’s about that feeling of relief after a party when all that’s left is you and a few close mates, and you can stop pretending to be overly flamboyant. The title ‘Full of Surprises’ is about the fact that people didn’t always see the real side of her personality in social situations. “I don’t really party so crazily anymore due to London’s dying venues and house parties being not what they used to be.

As a taster this has done a job on me; I’m very much looking forward to hearing the rest of the album. Calendar duly marked.


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