Following up the freshness of their debut album was never going to be easy, but France-Cuban sisters Ibeyi have found a way, returning a little older and wiser and with something that digs deeper. Ash is full of reflections on the world and their inner lives and expertly arranged vocal, melodic and percussive layers.
XL founder Richard Russell handles production once again, and the guest-list is bursting with talent – Chilly Gonzales, jazzman du jour Kamasi Washington, Meshell Ndegeocello and Mala Rodriguez. The latter gets involved for one of the album’s upbeat tracks, and their first in Spanish, ‘Me Voy’. Meanwhile the Washington-featuring ‘Deathless’ finds glimmers of hope in dark times. Ash is a subtle and mature development of Ibeyi’s still-unique sound.