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Fat Freddy's Drop

They've dubbed themselves "hi-tek soul," but Fat Freddy's Drop -- featuring producer and leader Fitchie, vocalist Joe Dukie, saxophonist Warren Maxwell, trumpeter Toby Laing, trombonist Joe Lindsay, guitarist Tehimana Kerr, and keyboardist Iain Gordon -- could just as easily be considered a modern reggae band that incorporates soul and dub. Prior to releasing their first album, 2005's Based on a True Story, they were already well-known in their native New Zealand; the album shipped gold and became the first independent release to reach number one on the country's official RIANZ chart. By the end of the year, the band had left an impression in several other countries, including England, where listeners of Gilles Peterson's BBC Worldwide program voted it the Album of the Year. The band extensively toured for the next four years. Warren Maxwell left the group in 2007 for family reasons; he was replaced by Scott Towers. In 2009, the band released its second studio album, Dr. Boondigga & the Big BW. It was the highest-selling album in New Zealand that year and featured a duet with Alice Russell on the single "The Camel." Once again, following an album release, the band embarked on a world tour. In 2013, "Silver and Gold" was pressed on vinyl and offered as a free digital download. Its parent album, Blackbird, followed later in the year and became the band's third consecutive number one album in New Zealand. "Slings and Arrows" was released as a single in 2015 as the band worked on its fourth studio album, Bays, which was also released in 2015. After numerous live dates across the world, the group issued the first fruits of their fifth album, the 2018 single "Trickle Down." Teasing more new material on their 2019 European tour, the group released the track "Kamo Kamo" in anticipation of their album. Special Edition, Pt. 1 -- the first chapter of an ambitious double album -- was issued digitally at the end of the year before being issued physically in 2020.
© Andy Kellman /TiVo
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