The New Religion is an Afrofuturist album constructed from previous music – very previous music in some instances. Its premise is acquainted sufficient, not least to followers of Octavia Butler’s influential 1993 novel Parable of the Sower: an apocalyptic panorama introduced on by ecological collapse, amid which a band of black American refugees search salvation. In Jake Blount’s account, they’re sustained by the spirituals and blues of yesteryear and their imprint of struggling and redem Blount
Blount (pronounced Blunt) has lower a smooth path via the realm of Americana, first as a bluegrass fiddler and banjo participant with assorted sidekicks, then with an acclaimed solo debut, 2020’s Spider Tales. He additionally totes credentials as a music historian. His data is put to good use right here, mixing obscurities – a number of captured by music collector Alan Lomax within the mid-Twentieth century – with higher identified items suchSharpesetta Tharpe’s Didn’t It Rain and Blind Willie McTell’s Simply As Effectively Get Prepared, You Bought to Die. All are given putting, albeit minimalist acoustic settings (the apocalypse is electricity-free). Blount’s co-producer, Brian Slattery, provides percussion to fiddle, banjo and guitar, plus there’s rap and massed gospel voices. An arresting, if not all the time snug creation from an unusual expertise.