Pieces Of A Man Share New Single 'Listen'

Pieces Of A Man Share New Single 'Listen'

Manchester six-strong soul collective Pieces of a Man released their second single,"Listen", today, sharing a live-in-studio video via YouTube. Taken from their forthcoming debut album, Made In Pieces, (produced by Zed Bias and featuring Amp Fiddler), due out July 12 on Tru Thoughts, "Listen" oozes funk and soul confidence with a deep groove, while thematically tackling communication. The song was begat from frontman/synth/talkboxer To!u A¡ayi's personal struggle of coming out to his mother: "It went terribly, but we build from brokenness."

"Listen" follows the release of the superlative gospel-anthem "Nothing To Lose"; a collaborative merging of talent from Zed Bias aka Maddslinky, Amp Fiddler (George Clinton's Parliament & Funkadelic), Tyler Daley (Children of Zeus) and many other immersive harmonious vocalists. "Nothing To Lose" has received resounding support across the airwaves on NTS, Reform Radio and BBC 1Xtra, and features in GRUNGECAKE, Riff Magazine and Soul & Jazz.

With both To!u and Pils, aka Illya Gosling (keyboards + sax), going through major life changes, each songwriter chose to spill some truths to loved ones, past and present throughout the song: "The overriding theme is about being listened to and understood, rather than merely heard. I wrote the body of the song in prose immediately after coming to my mother, before it was ever a song. They were words on a page to vent frustration of cyclical conversation, but the resulting verses apply to so many aspects of relationships," To!u confesses. "Overall, the track acknowledges that freedom to just 'be' facilitates openness. It may be harder to exist vulnerably in honesty and integrity, but in the end it's the only way to move forward."

Pushing past the confines of conventional soul, the progressive outfit deliver a lavish and finely crafted sound combining tight brass horn licks, G-funk synths and Rhodes riffs - all rhythmically grating against one another in a staple pocket and groove. Showcasing the groups' creative license to go all-in, the band riff collectively before bravely breaking down their sonic output to just keys and vocals, and then building up momentum to an expansive soundscape sprinkled with vocal manipulation, courtesy of DK (beat/samples) and the freshness of To!u's stacked polyvocal harmonies.

Heavily influenced by G-funk and Jazz Funk a la Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, George Clinton & P-Funk, as well more recent soul inspirations including Jarrod Lawson, Anderson Paak, D'Angelo and Snarky Puppy, Pieces of a Man wrote "Listen" while coming off tour opening for The Funk Apostles (aka Cory Henry). With the live energy fuelling the funk, the strong and seductive vocal valour of To!u exudes soulful class: "If I told you what was wrong would you listen to me?"

Accompanying the single is a live studio session video of "Listen" filmed at Oxygene Studios in Manchester - a space where the band recorded live elements of their album. Reminiscent of Snarky Puppy's 'Family Dinner', PJ Morton's 'Gumbo Unplugged Live' and countless congregational studio sessions before them, "Listen (Live Studio Session)" sees the band invite a mix of loved ones old and new, and members of Rainbow Noir, an organization co-run by To!u, that celebrates and platforms LGBTQ people of color based in Manchester. "They are friends turned family, who not only have shared similar struggles with being heard and understood by loved ones but also know how to bounce to a gritty groove."

With prolific live shows at Band on the Wall, Jazz Café, Sofar Sounds and Soundcrash's Funk & Soul Weekender - on top of supporting the likes of Jarrod Lawson, Bilal, Omar and Cory Henry - Pieces of a Man a band that is intent on further cementing and pushing the soul sound revolution brewing in the UK.

Photo Credit: David Klein

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