By Ash

The promising band hailing from KZN, The Black Lapelshave released their debut EP ‘All or Nothing’. Singer, songwriter and guitarist Rob Warren are joined by bassist and vocalist, Garth Warren, Gareth Gale on drums and Mr Rusty Red on guitar.

All or Nothing’ is a richly diverse and perfectly blended collection of afro-pop, indie, alternative vibes – the perfect singalong, dance along summer soundtrack. Their familiar, yet comforting melodies saturate each track in delight while their soft and controlled vocals are full of emotional tenderness that holds everything together.

The Black Lapels - Photographer Wade Weirdson
The Black Lapels
(photo by Wade Weirdson)

From the gritty ‘Danger’ and ‘All or Nothing’ with their energetic and confident choruses allow for an album doused in melodic treats. A track like ‘Shakedown’ bring that dance laced summer vibe and proudly South African atmosphere. “Chemicals” particularly is a moderately paced song, packed with emotional depth – with lyrics such as “You find a place, familiar space, chemicals get us through, I shine when you are blue, hold on love we’ll make it through”, showcasing the band’s warm range. ‘Other Side of Love’, gives us the feeling of a slick romantic number to dim the light, jam together and swoon over. 

“Once Garth had laid down some seriously groovy bass lines and we had a chance to listen to the finished songs, we finally had a taste of our potential sound. And that was it! Rob got to work writing songs, wed meet with Gareth (who is an absolute mamba of a drummer) in various locations to do drums, Rob and I would arrange and flesh out the songs and Garth would make Gareth’s grooves come alive. Rinse, repeat and here we are! It’s been an incredible journey so far.” – Rusty Red

When they are not on the road performing, the Black Lapels can be found in The White Room, the band’s creative HQ, where they are continually pushing their boundaries to create new and exciting original music.

‘All or Nothing’ is filled with groovy tones, chilled vibes and oodles of soul. Each song flows into the next with enthusiastic delicacy while the smooth vocals stroke and slide over the melty melodies.

It’s definitely worth a listen!

All or Nothing is available now on all digital platforms including Spotify, Deezer and Apple Music.

Marley is the founder and owner of Small Town Music. Born and bred in Nelspruit aka Nelsparta. Marley loves music (rock being a firm favourite), tattoos, festivals, animals and South Africa. Self-taught photographer and writer.