Album of the Day: Seba Kaapstad, “Thina”
By Shanice Brim · May 21, 2019

Much of Thina, the new album from Seba Kaapstad, plays out like a neo-soul jam session. The South African group’s songs combine resonant piano, hip-hop beats, and spoken word passages for songs that balance liveliness with gravitas. “RFRE” opens with a quiet, deliberate piano passage, to which Ndumiso Manana and Zoe Modiga add sweeping harmonies that feel equally inspired by ’60s jazz as they do ‘90s R&B. “Breathe” is bigger, looser, and more playful, with taut, descending vocal harmonies tripping their way down crackling rhythms. “Playground” edges toward experimentalism, with ripples of electronics, a distorted beat, and stop-start construction that clears room for wobbly bands of synth.  Seba Kaapstad made Thina as a way to “use music to inspire unity and heal.” That optimism and purity extends to the music, which is clear-eyed, freewheeling, and bursting with joy.

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