Fisherman Row – The Hempolics

London-based band The Hempolics released their latest single, “Fisherman Row” backed with “Night & Day” – showcasing the first two in a series of mesmerising track releases across the course of this Summer and beyond, ahead of the eclectic South East London-based collective’s upcoming album “KCT 3”.  

The A-side here, “Fisherman Row”, is a dynamic and propulsive, deep yet hooky reggae/soul song inspired by lead singer Nubiya’s personal journey and experiences, offering a raw reflection on adaptation and empowerment. Drawing from Nubiya’s narrative lens, the lyrics delve into the complexities of personal space and the challenges of navigating societal pressures. 

On the (digital) flip, the band pay homage to Toots and The Maytals’ B-side classic “Night & Day” from 1969 – a mesmerising rendition of the iconic track which revives the essence of this cherished masterpiece for contemporary audiences, featuring Horseman and King Zepha. There’s also a Dub version on this incredible package. 

“Fisherman Row” was born from a collaboration between drummer Craig and producer/bandleader Grippa, as they explored new rhythmic possibilities, particularly focusing on incorporating the snare drum on the one. This innovative approach laid the foundation for the track’s unique blend of reggae-infused melodies and infectious beats. As the song unfolds, listeners are transported through the streets of South East London, where the band’s diverse influences and experiences shape their musical landscape. From the gritty authenticity of the rhythm to the soulful melodies that echo Nubiya’s introspective lyrics, the track is a testament to The Hempolics’ commitment to innovation coupled with authenticity. 

“Night & Day” arose from passionate conversations between bandleader Grippa, and Nubiya, where they reminisced about their mutual love for Toots and The Maytals and their track “Night and Day” – originally released as a B side on Beverley Records and produced by the legendary Byron Lee in 1969 – which holds a special place in their hearts as the epitome of musical brilliance. It is a unique recording and one-off song. What sets this new rendition apart is its profound reverence for the original but also its commitment to authenticity. Just like the original recording session, The Hempolics assembled to capture the magic of “Night and Day” in a single take. The inclusion of esteemed vocalist King Zepha, channeling the spirit of Toots, adds an extra layer of authenticity and dynamism to the track. Additionally, the unmistakable vocal prowess of Horseman enriches the experience, seamlessly blending tradition with contemporary flair.

Released under the banner of The Hempolics’ homegrown label, ZeeZee Records, this two-tracker offers a glimpse into the forthcoming album “KCT 3”, on which fans can expect an eclectic mix of sounds and stories of modern Britain, pushing the boundaries of contemporary Reggae music.