Kom Psalm – Sons Of Trout
Generally Sons of Trout were known for their funky rock style not too far away from the sounds of Red Hot Chili Peppers and that ilk. But when they asked us to ‘Kom Psalm’ (a play on the Afrikaans ‘kom saam’ which means ‘come with’) they take a different approach. They seem to take a bunch of genre’s and stick them in a blender. Right from the get go we are introduced to a scratchy fiddle which could be at home in an Irish Folk song, except it wouldn’t quite fit as it contains echoes of a Zulu bow harp. It conjures up images of rural Kwazulu Natal in the winter with brown and yellow grass bathing in the sunshine. But at the same time it feels like it could almost fit into a boeremusiek song.
After this brief introduction, we move into a relaxed stomp where the fiddle dances around a synchopated thudding rhythm which leads onto a gospel choir-ish rousing chant of ‘Lord have mercy on me’. This fades to a beautiful acoustic, somewhat folky guitar and harmony singing. ‘I feel that I have been shined upon, all my bad days are gone’ they sing, which portrays a message of hope. This was 1999 and the new South Africa was just beginning to find its feet.
But why then, do they need to sing ‘Lord have mercy on me’? Perhaps it was an allusion to the uncertainty and apprehension people in the country had as they still did not quite know what the future held and where they would fit it. And maybe that’s why the different sounds occur in the music. The styles sort of want to merge into a coherent sound of unity, yet still want to maintain their individuality. Lyrically and musically, the song captures the mood of the country at that time. Even the title ‘Kom Psalm’ could mean ‘come with’ or possibly ‘come together’, an invitation both to join in on the journey that lay ahead and to unite.
Where to find it:
Ticks On George – Sons Of Trout (1999), Gallo