Album Review: Nephilim by Ebony Bones

Ebony Bones Unleashes an Album that is Both Ethereal and Crushing

Words by Jyvonne Haskin

British actress and musician Ebony Bones has a lot to say, and yet, her skillful mastery is being able to say so much with so few words. Her latest effort, Nephilim, is a frantic political knockout of an earworm. In her third album, Bones wrote, produced, and performed a varied genre that is arguably punk, alternative, and definitively Black. Calling to mind the Sex Pistols’ crass calls against the Queen and Bjork’s ethereal dark soundscapes on the Dancer in the Dark soundtrack, Nephilim energizes the spirit and makes the soul yearn for more.

The term Nephilim describes the offspring of the sons of God, presumed to be angels, and the daughters of man. These offspring were huge in size and would be called “giants” in our current vernacular. Bones touches on a number of topics on this record such as the implications of last year’s vote for Brexit, Great Britain’s complicated history of nationalism and its relationship to stolen and chosen immigrants throughout history. There is a giant weight on the shoulders of non-white Brits simply trying to exist. The song “No Black in the Union Jack” addresses this head-on, no chaser.

Nephilim addresses other giant concepts as well. Ebony Bones’ collaboration with the Beijing Philharmonic Orchestra explores the theme of censorship and the differences in oppression between China, Great Britain, and other westernized societies. Taking it further, Bones’ use of live strings versus digitized strings begs for a look into the censorship of human emotional expression in our current music arena.

It is without a doubt that if you have not heard of Ebony Bones, you will certainly encounter her brilliance some way, somehow. Do yourself a favor, and intentionally go listen to Nephilim, so you won’t be knocked on your ass during a surprise encounter with it.


Favorite Track: All. Of. Them.
Listen to this: While passionately spray painting your latest Stop Separating Families/Trans Rights Now/We Do Better When We Listen to Black Women! protest signs.


 

 


Nephilim came out July 2018 from 1984 Records.


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