Ethiopian brothers Noah and Medhane Tewolde are known as the vocal and multi-instrumentalist duo Nazarenes, a duo that has been based in Sweden for many years.
They established themselves in 2001 with their self-produced debut album Orit. Their breakthrough came three years later with the acclaimed set Songs of Life, a set followed by Rock Firm in 2008.
The first collaboration between the Nazarenes and Tippy I was the single Everlasting which was included on the various artists’ compilation Joyful Noise put out in 2009.
On Meditation the Nazarenes have made an album that confirms just how great roots reggae can sound in 2012. Meditation is reggae in the same school as excellent vocal harmony groups like The Meditations or The Mighty Diamonds. And hearing these two brothers sing together is a soulful experience.
Meditation re-uses some of the riddims used for previous Tippy I productions, and if you’re familiar with Jahdan Blakkamoore’s Babylon Nightmare, Toussaint’s Black Gold or Perfect’s Back for the First Time you’ll most likely enjoy tunes such as Mamy Blues, Everlasting and Lonesome Lady.
But there are also a number of new riddims. The dreamy Alive is one such, Politrickcians, in a UK dub style, is another.
Several of the songs come close to pop and rock arrangements and Get Together will probably make Chris Martin of Coldplay proud with its catchy sing-a-long chorus. It sounds like it’s made for playing at large festivals or stadiums.
The Nazarenes might have a long way until they’ve achieved a following as big as Coldplay, but if Noah and Medhane Tewolde keep making music as good as Meditation it’s just a matter of time until they play at Glastonbury or Madison Square Garden.