That’s the theme of 2019 for Byron Bay singer, ukulele strummer and drummer Bobby Alu. It’s been a long-time personal and musical mission for the tropical ambassador, too.
Amidst smooth harmonies, rhythms inspired by a strong family lineage of Polynesian performance, and unassuming grooves that work a gradual, smile- inducing high through even a casual listener, Bobby Alu tunes have a way of sneaking into the subconscious and taking up residence. Every now and then, one will pop up as a toe-tapping reminder to take it slow, enjoy the ride. It’s the curator of calm’s way – deliver island-time vibes with gentle optimism rather than forceful instruction, and encourage the type of reflection best achieved in a hammock. Though it’s not all palm trees and daydreams – there’s a robust energy in Alu’s mastery of traditional Samoan log drums, and a vitality to his songwriting that nods to world, roots and pop intelligence.
Sharing a well-nurtured and lengthy musical connection with producer and multi-instrumentalist tour buddy Paulie Bromley (The Beautiful Girls, george), Alu’s recorded and live presence has been boosted from a range of creative alliances. Having dedicated his world-class percussion skills to touring internationally with Xavier Rudd over the past five years, it was time for the equatorial folk of Bobby Alu to chart its own dedicated course again. Following the exploratory self-titled debut (triple j Roots ‘n All top 10 album of 2010), the clear stylistic intention of 2013’s Take It Slow, and the cruisey attitude of 2015’s Bay Sessions EP, 2018 sees Alu back in the studio. As usual, he’ll be observing the ebb and flow of life and locking into his tried and always true grooves, though with the fire that comes from holding a 20,000 strong crowd captive with your beats, as well as the care that can only come from serenading your nearest and dearest by a coastal camp fire, with an instrument handed down from your mother.
“Bay Sessions is a beautiful collection of uplifting and diverse instrumentals and solicitous lyrics. Bobby’s approach to music encourages individuals to embrace their quirks and pure individualism, it’s not very often that music makes you feel so positive about yourself these days, but Alu does a fantastic job of making you smile and high-five yourself.” Blank Gold Coast
“His chilled out Pacific tunes have a long-lasting feel good effect and his finely crafted songs have instant appeal.” ABC Radio Australia
“Smooth hammock music genius.” The AU Review
“…Vivid imagery of paradisiacal wonder.” Beat Magazine
LIVE: Expect a fresh, simple sound with tastes of Polynesian ukulele, Pacific beats, catchy songs, tasty harmony and powerful log drumming on a bed of slick style. Pass through moments like you’re in a hammock or a slave to the beat. A band that grooves like Withers, moves like Marley, charms like Harper but is smooth like Fat Freddys.