Kinda Like Electricity: Beauty, Bliss, Unconsciousness
A picture frame. A photo album. A painting in the hall that no one remembers buying. The one that tears you back to the sea and the shells cupped in the palms of your hands. Drawing closer now. Tenacious waves pulling at your feet. Toes muddled in the mire. A gathering of strangers and everyone is laughing because the sea is swallowing you whole. In that moment, life comes bearing from a song unseen, and like Venus from the shell, the enclosures of love unfurls at your feet.
Medicine Boy’s debut LP Kinda Like Electricity is an elaboration on the art of drowning. Slow, sinking dreams revel in a depth of noise. Inherent is the love, callous is the lover. Affection seems to form from a cavern buried under mounds of sea. A means to survive while considering all possible outcomes and prospects: What if these two bodies are not enough? What if love demands more? What if I can’t find a way around us? What if I want to be lovesick and sad?
‘Beautiful Blue’ starts like a story. A look back in time to hear the counsel and guidance that parents deem their children. A view into the nature of their characters. How their lessons brand us, stigmatise us, and sometimes save us. Lucy’s father shows her the beauty of being alone, a shell where she dreams herself blind to all the crowds of people and their demands – their way of being as opposed to what she holds inside her head. Her mother brings the reminder that there is no divide. You’re no better than anyone| they’re no better than you. There is a refusal to conform. She won’t comply with the standards that fall short of what she deems more important to explore. Frightened by love and in love with our rules | I wanna be loved for my beautiful blue | I want you to show me the blue within you.
‘Anything, As Long As It’s Black’ sways in mind with images rich enough to stand as an anthology of verse. One lover in conjunction with the other. A dance where the end looms on the edge, swerving as it were into a void that is inevitable. Oh pretty darling, it’s just a matter of time | ‘Til we all go falling down to the other side. Layers of sound coat Andre and Lucy’s voice into a treble of one. The conclusion draws on the finality of this realm, and a journey to the next. You can bring anything | You can wear anything | Anything, as long as it’s black.
‘Lashes’ is a personal favourite. Once again moving back in time to a girl we’ve come to know as an indispensable image and muse to the Medicine Boy collective. The song shifts into a sonorous breath, sinking away into the depths of a formidable baptism. An archetype. A girl who wears the seasons in her nature. As holy as she is unholy, a goddess to be revered. A Venus who holds the quality of threatening evil while unknown to us whether she is evil herself. Drift above while below | The tide carries you home | So the breath you stubbornly hold | Can finally let go.
One thing is for certain. Kinda Like Electricity brings to light a quality of work that keeps building on its previous endeavours to weave a narrative of sound and story unlike any we’ve heard before. Time and time again, Andre and Lucy have reinvented the musical efforts of their roots without losing the soul that encompasses their musicality. Medicine Boy stands as one of the greatest bands South Africa has to offer.