Steam Down share new single, ‘Untie’
UK Headline Tour on sale now
Debut EP – ‘Five Fruit’ – confirmed for September 24th release
“A snapshot of London in all its open-minded variety” Guardian ****
“A space and a culture that’s open to all” i-D
“Jazz meets grime meets afrobeat meets funk…not dissimilar to the raves of the early 90s” Mixmag
“A hub for London’s flourishing jazz scene…breathing new life into the genre” New York Times
|Steam Down have today announced new single ‘Untie’, which is available now on Decca. It’s the latest preview of the hugely influential London collective’s debut EP, ‘Five Fruit’: introduced in dazzling style on first single ‘EMPOWER’, with ‘Free My Skin II’ following recently (which also featured in adidas’ Euro 2020 campaign). The EP will be released on September 24th, with Steam Down’s legendary, weekly Deptford club-night back each Wednesday at Matchstick Piehouse, and a headline tour on sale for November.
‘Untie’ serves as a reminder that Steam Down is a space not exclusively for frenzied dancing. Here, the serenading vocals of Lady Shaynah soundtrack a journey of self-love and agency, in the face of everyday loneliness and sadness. According to founder Ahnansé, the track was inspired by the idea that “we must untie our hearts from our minds in order to stop ourselves sinking deeper into unhealthy mental states in times of inner turmoil. In this parting of the mind and heart, we can find the strength to be gentle and compassionate in order to reconnect with the peace within ourselves.”
After years of building a truly engaged community – and taking London’s melting-pot to the world’s stage – 2021 marks a new chapter for Steam Down: a collective, a club, and a genuine movement. Formed in May of 2017, the project was born out of Ahnansé’s desire to reconnect to a community: fractured not only by endless touring, but the forces of gentrification and censure threatening the arts across the capital. Lacking a stable and collaborative space in which such creativity could flourish, Ahnansé chose simply to make his own: in Steam Down’s case, their musical Mecca proved to be a railway arch bar in South London, soon home to a weekly jam-night infamous for its opportunity for reflection, release…and a lot of sweat. Steam Down has since become the bedrock for a community of all ages, one in which culture was at the foreground, genre was demystified, and pretentiousness was left at the door.
As they build up to their similarly-immersive debut EP – ‘Five Fruit’ – Steam Down’s return feels particularly poignant. The collective has already seen the likes of Kamasi Washington, Charlotte Dos Santos, Poppy Ajudha and Jools Holland appear unannounced on their nights, whilst picking up two Jazz FM Awards, playing Glastonbury, selling out Village Underground and headlining Boiler Room’s festival: all up front of their first body of work, which is as philosophical, progressive and musically versatile as you would hope from Steam Down. In and amongst the chaos, integral to Steam Down’s success has also been a remarkable consistency (and the singular vision of Ahnansé), growing their particular village one punter at a time. Theirs is an old-school ethos in modern language and landscape; cross-pollinating the capital as key spaces remain under threat, and providing physical abandon in the digital age.
With equal support across Radio 1, 1xtra, 6Music, FIFA – and joining the likes of Bree Runway and Celeste on a recent project with Tate Collective, ‘Tate Unframed’ – what Steam Down have achieved in four years is remarkable. What they aim to achieve on a deeper level – transformation, transcendence, and collective consciousness – speaks to the power of Steam Down.
08 – Patterns – Brighton
09 – Exchange – Bristol
10 – Metronome – Nottingham
12 – St Luke’s – Glasgow
13 – Castle and Falcon – Birmingham
14 – Academy 3 – Manchester
15 – Headrow House – Leeds
17 – The Albany – London
LISTEN to ‘Untie’
LISTEN to ‘Free My Skin II’
WATCH ‘Empower’ live at the Tate
FOLLOW STEAM DOWN