For the better part of the past decade, we’ve kept a close eye on Nigerian-born, Austin-based singer-guitarist Kalu James. James first caught our attention with intimate solo acoustic gigs at venues like the Cactus Café right around the release of his 2013 full-length The Offering: Flesh. After linking up with guitarist JT Holt, James co-founded Kalu & The Electric Joint, an ethno-funk, future-psych, blues-rock-soul group that quickly claimed the title as our November 2017 Artist of the Month. Since 2019, Kalu & The Electric Joint have been riding the current off their critically-acclaimed, feature-laden full band debut, Time Undone. But despite KEJ’s immense talent and some personnel changes, you simply can’t devote to a new album while you’re still touring the last one.
Well it turns out that Kalu & The Electric Joint have been working on their next record, we just haven’t known about it. What we thought were three standalone tracks were actually the first entries into KEJ’s upcoming sophomore full-length, and today the group share its four lead single. Sporting a sparse arrangement of drums, synth, acoustic guitar, and vocals, “Garden of Eden” recaptures the concise, introspective songwriting that made us fall in love with Kalu in the first place. This beautiful tune comes alongside a music video directed by Barbara FG, who won Music Video of the Year for Sir Woman’s “Party City” at the most recent Austin Music Awards. So step into the garden whenever you’re ready, and if you want a one-of-a-kind concert experience, catch KEJ performing as “Kalu & The Acoustic Joint” on Friday, July 22nd at the 04 Center along with Ray Prim.