Featured artist: Hejira

Hejira 4

Hejira are a well-travelled London four-piece who’ve distilled their disparate collective heritage – spanning Chile, Hungary, Ethiopia and Germany – into a persuasive mix of shrewd urban pop and scratchy electronics.

Sam Beste, Rahel Debebe-Dessalegne, Alexis Nunez and Alex Reeve first came together in 2010, soon perfecting a mix of expansive freeform pop that would wow electronic whizz and label boss Matthew Herbert.

Building organic percussion and a post-rock groove, the quartet overlay vocal melodies and harmonies to create an intelligent and inventive live set. Borne of many years of experience performing with the likes of Amy Winehouse, Tom Jones, Nitin Sawhney, Eric Lau and Connan Mockasin, all four are well-versed musicians and it shows.

They have already won plaudits from the likes of Dummy, Fact, The Guardian and Metro, but stark debut single Litmus Test should do much to further raise their profile when it lands on 16 September.

On the B-side, the single’s haunting melody and bare guitar work is given a rework by jazz drummer and band leader Seb Roachford, with additional vocal stylings from English rapper and YNR Productions co-founder Jehst. Upcoming electronic producer and Eglo Records label boss Floating Points also offers up his take on the track.

Meanwhile, Hejira’s debut album Prayer Before Birth, which was recorded and produced by Herbert in his studio, is expected in October through Accidental Records.

The band will be performing at their monthly night Traum this Friday at Shacklewell Arms in London before embarking on a hiatus in the Capital that will allow them to stage a series of events across the UK in October.


Twitter: @hejira_info