Sultans of String are the ramped-up potpourri of ethnic sounds, getting attention as a JUNO nominee and a SiriusXM winner. The band initially formed eight years ago with a vast amount of awards under their belt, their new release, Subcontinental Drift (2015), is the latest showcase of their east-meets-west explosion of bassy, jazzy styles.
Chris McKhool (a name as zany as his musical style) takes on the violin and often shares the studio with guests like Jesse Cook, Pavlo, and Club Django. On the guitar is Kevin Laliberté and Eddie Paton while Drew Birston rules the bass. Other eccentric talents includes Chendy Leon, the Cuban percussionist, and guests Bassam Bishara (a gifted oud player from Palestine) and Anwar Kurshid (adding another eastern flavour with the sitar).
If you’re looking to set a pleasant Turkish folk music atmosphere, look no further than Subcontinental Drift (2015). From its fluid instrumentals to the fast exotic vocal pieces, the Sultans of String have certainly created a variety under the vast canopy of Eastern ethnic sounds. Tracks like “Ho Jamalo” are a great showcase to the many talents involved in this album.
This album hangs on an interesting axis of “East meets West” (as cliché as that may sound) with more wholesome tracks like “A Place to Call Home”. This album’s a taste of something different, and with monotonous mainstream music blaring the same tunes on the radio over and over, different is exactly what we need right now.
With a bombardment of international sounds, it’s unlikely that you’ve ever heard anything quite like Sultans of String – so check them out on their website, and look them up on Spotify. Keep up with their shows and events through Facebook and follow them on Twitter @sultansofstring.