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If the throbbing hellscape of 2021 is supposedly causing many young bands to whimper in existential fear and lick their numerous wounds, no one passed this bleak memo on to black midi. No second album syndrome and no sophomore slump for Britain’s most exciting and challenging young rock band, no matter what obstacles have been strewn in their path. The follow up to Schlagenheim is a dynamic, hellacious, inventive success. Cavalcade, their second studio album for Rough Trade, scales beautiful new heights, reaching ever upwards from an already lofty base of early achievements.
The meaning of the word cavalcade is a procession of people, such as a royal parade, and black midi picture their new album as a line of larger than life figures – from a cult leader fallen on hard times and an ancient corpse found in a diamond mine to legendary cabaret singer Marlene Dietrich – strolling seductively past them. The album art – again, another intricate collage created by David Rudnick – brings this idea colourfully to life, drawing the listener inexorably into this mysterious world, reinforcing the idea that Cavalcade is a glorious collection of stories just waiting to be dived into.
Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother) is a national and international touring musician, poet, visual artist, and workshop facilitator. She is a vocalist in three collaborative performance groups: Irreversible Entanglements, MoorJewelry and 700bliss. As Moor Mother, she released her debut album Fetish Bones to critical acclaim in 2016. Since then, she has released multiple albums each year, working with frequent collaborators, Olof Melander, Mental Jewelry, and billy woods. Ayewa has facilitated workshops at Cornell University, MOFO Festival, Moogfest, Black Dot Gallery, among others. She is the co-founder of the multidisciplinary collective Black Quantum Futurism (BQF), co-founder and curator of Rockers! Philly, and has been an Artist-in-Residence at West Philadelphia Neighborhood Time Exchange and WORM! Rotterdam residency. Ayewa is a Pew Fellow (2017), a The Kitchen Inaugural Emerging Artist Awardee (2017), and a Leeway Transformation Awardee.