Born in Syria and currently residing in Chicago, musician Bassel Almadani leads The Supernaturals in creating a funk/soul hybrid that will be showcased on their new album Smoke & Mirrors. The band’s third studio LP is out this Friday, April 17 and today we’re excited to premiere the latest song from the record, a swooning slow-groove “Relay.” The release date holds significance as it coincides with Syrian Independence Day, a fitting tribute as Almadani’s birth country struggles through a revolution that’s left millions displaced and in need of humanitarian care.
“Relay” features a sultry instrumental arrangement, slinking its way through the intro with flutes, funky guitar riffs and a rumbling funk bass line. Bassel begins the song by singing in a rich soul style before rapping a few lines midway through the track, but by the end of the song he’s back to a more traditional R&B style.
Smoke & Mirrors is influenced by the illusion of glamor that surrounds touring artists. “We’ve played over 300 shows across North America since 2016 — from packed theaters to clubs where the soundcheck had more fans than the 4 hour set that followed,” said Almadani. “We’ve made friends with countless pets, couches, and floors. We’ve also lost close friends and family along the way. Music brought us together, and creates infinite meaning in our lives — but it doesn’t always cover rent. As social and cultural leaders, artists are expected to demonstrate strength and persistence in the wake of the challenges associated with working in the entertainment industry. Battles with mental and physical health tend to fall to the wayside along the way, using ‘the grind’ and other coping mechanisms to push through the darkness.”
The album was produced by The Supernaturals’ guitarist Brandon Hunt and engineered by the GRAMMY-nominated Jeff Breakey. Previous singles from the album include the “Smoke,” “Calculated Love,” the disco-inspired “Aleppo” and the protest song “Stepping Back In Time.”
Smoke & Mirrors
1. “Calculated Love”
2. “Stepping Back In Time”
7. “Black Water”
8. “Skipping Heartbeats”