Soja Amid The Noise And Haste on 2LP
"I want to speak for people who don't have microphones," Jacob Hemphill says. "Our goal as a band is to stick up for the human race. We see the world and we try to make it better in the limited time we have here." This is the philosophy behind Soja's music, a simple statement that has driven the D.C. area band, who blend reggae, go-go, D.C. hardcore, Latin, rock and hip-hop. After the release of their 2012 album Strength To Survive, the group started writing material for what would become their fifth full-length album, Amid the Noise and Haste.
For Hemphill, who pens the lyrics, chords and melody, each song starts with an experience: meeting someone, reading something, experiencing something that seems pertinent to the human condition. On this album, the songwriter is suggesting that "all of life's problems, and all of life's answers are within us. We've been conditioned to accumulate, compete and break others down around ourselves - not inherent to the human condition, but rather taught. Those things can be untaught. The real us is in there, somewhere." All of this is translated into short, sweet packages of music.
The writing and recording process for Amid the Noise and Haste stretched out over a year and a half, mostly because the musicians kept finding new collaborators and new ideas along the way. The aim was to engage as many guest artists as possible, with each working on a song that had a legitimate connection to them. The album was produced by Supa Dups (Bruno Mars, Eminem, Rihanna, John Legend) and recorded at Circle House Studios in Miami and Lion & Fox Studios in Washington D.C. throughout 2013.
Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley appears on "Your Song," a buoyant, hopeful number that asks fans to remind the band why they got into music by singing along, while "I Believe" brings Michael Franti and Nahko together to offer thoughts on how to control your own destiny. Collie Buddz, J Boog and Anuhea are also featured on various tracks. "We wanted to bring together people who would help demonstrate each song," Hemphill says. "We wanted people who could either relate to or convey the message. The whole album is about the human race relating to itself and connecting with itself."
Soja Amid The Noise And Haste Track Listing:
1. Tear It Down
2. Your Song ft. Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley
3. I Believe ft. Michael Franti and Nahko
4. Easier ft. Anuhea and J Boog
5. Shadow ft. Trevor Young
6. Once Upon A Time
7. Promises and Pills ft. Alfred the MC
9. She Still Loves Me ft. Collie Buddz
12. Treading Water
13. Lucid Dreams ft. Nahko