The key sentiment behind The Invisible's new album, Patience, is a sense of "joy and gratitude for being alive." The experiences of the three members of the band since the release of their last album, both individually and collectively, mean that the group "have gained a deeper understanding of the value of life." In some sense, you could argue that this is what music, at its most basic, does – it lifts us up, it celebrates, it is a distillation of the very best of life and living.
As a group, Dave Okumu (guitar, vocals), Tom Herbert (bass & synthesizer) and Leo Taylor (drums), have been involved in this celebration for almost a decade now, though their musical collaborations stretch back further still. The trio met as teenagers, and, over the next ten yeas or so, they crossed over again and again, gigging, jamming, working as session players and supporting each other's band projects.
Third album, Patience, grows out of all the experiences the group have had since Rispah. Joyous without losing any of its intelligence or compositional rigour, the basis for many of the tunes came from a couple of long trips Okumu made to LA, where he made connections in the West Coast beat scene and discovered "an ease and freedom that I plugged into." Coming back to London, the trio worked on his basic compositions until they were a complete expression of the collective.
The album is both more concentratedly the Invisible and more open to others. Buoyed by his experiences working on other projects, for the first time Dave took on production duties with his own band. But on the other hand, the group have also, for almost the first time, asked in their friends and associates to collaborate with them. Jessie Ware (on the utterly gorgeous "So Well"), Anna Calvi, Rosie Lowe, Connan Mockasin and Sam Shepherd (Floating Points) have all added their touches to this remarkable new album.
The record takes its title from an unfashionable but profound idea – that, if we want to solve problems we have to be prepared to work and to wait rather than expecting instant results. It was an idea clarified when Dave found himself playing in Paris only a week after the gun attacks which ripped through the city on November 13th 2015. On his way home he read an interview with the Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield in which he talked about a realization that could only have come to him in space: "What started seeping into me on, I don't know, my second-thousandth time around the world, seeing all the ancient scars, was the incredible temporal patience of the world."
The result of all these experiences - the collaborations, the new confidence, the group's belief in celebrating life - is a record which seems set to take The Invisible from London's best kept secret (almost a dictionary definition of musician's musicians) to the much wider, broader audience that their beautiful work deserves. Good things come to those who wait...