Released January 20th 2017 on Kwaidan Records and !k7.
From conception The Living Gods of Haiti has always been as much a multi-disciplinary art project as a traditional band. Front woman Rebekah Dobbin’s background in film, art, poetry and fashion as vital a component of the band’s universe as their love of musicians such as David Bowie or the Cocteau Twins. All these myriad strands come together on ‘A Life Unsung’, the band’s first new single since the release of their debut album in autumn 2016.
A collaboration with another multifaceted artist, Penny Rimbaud (co-founder of seminal punk band Crass, poet, performance artist and much more besides), ‘A Life Unsung’ is an experimental poem set to a backing track of dark, pulsating electronica. Penny and Rebekah’s words wrap around each other in an ecstatic embrace as the music, with echoes of classic EBM acts such as Front 242 builds and builds in intensity.
Accompanying the single is a short film directed by Rebekah and Wanda Martin and which, incredibly, despite more than 30 years as a recording artist is Penny’s first music video. Sparse, intense and hypnotic the short film perfectly captures both the track’s erotic and esoteric qualities. A unique band unafraid to wander off the well trodden paths that the music industry prefers to stick to, The Living Gods of Haiti’s ‘A Life Unsung’ will linger in the memory long after all else fades to black.
“I bring you metaphor incarnate that you might feast at last upon the flesh and know thine own weakness,’ and so the track begins in a feast of defiance both of genre and of gender. Amorphous as much as androgynous, she, Rebekah Dobbins, is the he, Penny Rimbaud, who is in turn she and likewise he, and if that appears to confuse identities and blur the edges, then they have succeeded in their intent.
Poor mind, how underfed thou art, how timid in expression; you possess the body yet deny it also, and so it goes. In their collaboration together, Rebekah and Penny set out to feed both mind and body through challenging musical, literary and social conventions. Whilst flaunting an impossibly asexual yet colourful sexuality, they set difficult words and philosophies to profoundly engaging beats, cock a snook at their obvious age difference and effectively morph into a singular expression of love, blessings and joy, or as the chorus goes, ‘dance, dance the flamboyant dance of monkeys and tear away the chains of conformity.”