Thao And The Get Down Stay Down A Man Alive on LP + Download
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – the San Francisco−based band fronted by singer and songwriter Thao Nguyen – releases their fourth album, A Man Alive, in March 2016 via Ribbon Music. Following the critical success of We The Common (2013), which was largely inspired by Thao's volunteer work with the California Coalition for Women's Prisoners, A Man Alive is an evolution in both subject matter and sound.
Thao says, "I wanted A Man Alive to be beat- and bass driven – rather than guitar-based – extending and elaborating upon the hip-hop influences of the previous record. A Man Alive is more instrumental, more riff- and loop-centric, and has more manipulated sounds." Mostly recorded at Tiny Telephone Studios in San Francisco, A Man Alive was produced by Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards. The songs are often punctuated by handclaps, sing-along choruses, and ass-shaking beats.
She adds, "I wanted to make a record that was very introspective and personal, but it would also seek to communicate. And we would have fun performing it – not just fun, but I wanted a kind of crazy, rabid, animal energy. We want people to dance and feel. And I want to do that every night, too."
A Man Alive is undoubtedly a new career highlight for Thao & The Get Down Stay Down. It demonstrates Thao's development as a songwriter. And it achieves that most elusive quality in music – to create an album of songs that are dark yet buoyant, tragic yet redemptive, personal yet inclusive.
"Quirky but cutting, playful but forceful, controlled but ragged. Thao Nguyen is one of the most commanding and distinctive young singers around. She infuses everything around her with electricity and mischievous boldness." - NPR Music