In a generation that is so immersed in techno music, where becoming a DJ is a new found universal career ambition, it is arguable that an appreciation for acoustic sound isn’t as prevalent as it used to be. There is something so animated and tangible about hearing a band utilizing a variety of acoustic instruments to produce their grooves.
Introducing The Dinlows – a lush new group on the Sydney scene that is generating some soul satisfying reggae-jazz-funk infused jams. If Sticky Fingers, The Cat Empire, and Bob Marley produced a musical lovechild, The Dinlows would be the outcome.
The Dinlows are a whirlwind bunch if we’ve ever met one, cramming elements of funk, reggae, hip-hop and jazz into one wild, rapturous package.
The five-piece consists of sibling duo Jakob (vocals, guitar, trumpet) and Ella Keysell (vocals, sax), accompanied by Josh Reeves (drums), Daniel Willington (guitar), and Nemo Lynn (bass). Jakob Keysell explained how the group came together: “Josh and I decided we wanted to start the band when we were studying in South Australia in 2013… when we came back (to Sydney) we started playing with a few mates at the start of 2014.”
While the band’s title holds similar connotations to that of an idiotic person, or for lack of a better word, a twat, their musical talent is far from foolish. Perhaps they are impartial to engaging in the occasional twattish behavior like any musical delinquent, however what establishes the band as so remarkable is their knack of raw talent and musical diversity that is so rarely appreciated in modern acts today.
When I asked the band to describe their sound in three words yahtz en bahtz was what came to mind, which is somewhat accurate in depicting the cacophonic nature of pulverised sounds they experiment with, that can’t really be defined in three distinctive words alone. From their wide range of genre influence that is evident in their sound, they manage to tastefully avoid clichés associated with reggae and jazz in a unique composition that is equally accessible as it is exceptional.
The significant function of the brass insertions gives their work a more tangible, believable quality that is imperative to their eclectic demeanour. Their sound is full of contrasting textures from funky brass battles to harmonious tangents that delightfully supports the scratchy vocal hooks in an audio atmosphere that is instantaneous and unexpected.
As for the lyrical brilliance, that can be attributed to Jakob Keysell, who has written all the music the band currently performs. However, according to Keysell the band is “working on writing things together in the near future”. The Dinlow’s most celebrated single Misfit takes the listener on a lyrical journey following a bloke who wanders the streets alone in his own nonconformist mentality-based on someone that Jakob Keysell used to know. It perfectly highlights Keysell’s lyrical mastermind at creating poetically captivating expressions, notably – “I’m a prisoner in my own captivity, it’s not my fault it’s who I happen to be.”
From a brass melody intro that establishes some solid grooves from the get go, the acoustics travel your imagination to a greasy bar on a balmy night in South America. Their sound is so culturally rich in influence from their fusing of jazz, funk, reggae and hip-hop that it almost defines a new genre within itself. While it is just a snippet of their work, it is a formidable one at that, and has us quivering in anticipation to hear what the band produces in the near future.
As for the act’s plans for 2016, they are recording an EP in March with their guitarist Daniel Willington that is anticipated to drop sometime before August, along with a couple of festival shows later in the year. The Dinlows are playing in a collection of bands at Sydney’s Valve Bar on the 6th of March, as well as a single launch in March for their upcoming release Saltwater (preview available on YouTube), so stay tuned for a date announcement to immerse yourself in the sweet nectar of investigational reggae.