Hejira sprung from South East London’s exciting music scene when vocalist, bass guitarist and co-songwriter Rahel Debebe-Dessalegne – alongside fellow multi-instrumentalists Alex Reeve and Sam Beste – set up their home studio there in 2010. Live they perform with an expanded line-up, weaving together the many ribbons of their musical outlook into a vibrant, soulful sound.
This very special show sees Hejira perform material from their highly anticipated second album Thread of Gold. Borne from an astonishing and acutely personal sequence of events, it tells the story of Rahel’s changing relationship with her homeland of Ethiopia after the death of her father. In 2016 she took the band with her on a pilgrimage to Addis Ababa, looking to reaffirm her own ancestral roots and cultural identity, and then on a deeper exploration into the unique peoples and musics of the country. The subsequent record sparkles with articulate and subtle instrumentation, earworming choruses, orchestral arrangements, close vocal harmonies and East African field recordings, illuminating a profoundly moving and intimate personal expression.
An exclusive first chance to see new music performed live from this unmissable London outfit on home turf.
Special guest Skinny Pelembe (solo)
With a sample-hunting, studio-meddling mindset, Skinny Pelembe’s music roams hazy afro-tipped soul with psychedelic tangents. Born in Johannesburg, growing up in Doncaster, he’s a sparkling multi-instrumentalist who blends his production, guitar, singing and MCing to tap into a unique, influence-weaving sound. His recent EP “Sleep More, Make More Friends” (released on Brownswood) features a BBC 6 music playlist collaboration track with Hejira.
The Albany is supported by PRS Foundation’s The Open Fund for Organisations.