The Invisible - 'Patience' Review
London trio The Invisible have their eyes set on the big time with their third soul-funk outing
Fittingly named, The Invisible are session musicians to the stars, a trio of unassuming childhood pals who make up the house band you’ve never heard of. But with their third album of interplanetary soul and darkly lit disco sounds, surely it’s their time to scoop up some of the spotlight for themselves?
Led by the multi-talented Dave Okumu – who played guitar for the young, jazzy Amy Winehouse and co-wrote Jessie Ware’s 2010 debut album – the London-based trio also features Tom Herbert and Leo Taylor, who’ve recently been busying themselves as part of Adele’s ‘25’ studio band. Stepping out of the shadow of some of the 21st century’s biggest and best divas can’t be easy, but ‘Patience’ is a classy side-step into their own laid-back, impeccably textured territory, a plush world where Sade and D’Angelo are queen and king, with Hot Chip as their loyal men-in-waiting.
Still, despite their considerable ability as both musicians and producers, they’re surprisingly coy about trying to make a real name for themselves, bringing in Okumu’s old mate Ware for the fluttering, fragile opener ‘So Well’ instead of kicking off by striding out on their own. Which isn’t to say it’s a bad song – far from it; it’s at once familiar and full of leftfield pop thrills. Okumu also reels in some of his more low-key collaborators: south London R&B vocalist Rosie Lowe on the funk-inflected, Aaliyah-lite ‘Different’ and flamenco rocker Anna Calvi on the washed-out ‘Love Me Again’, as well as Connan Mockasin on the hypnotic, bass-driven ‘K Town Sunset’ – a reference to their albums’ writing sessions in Los Angeles and the city’s Koreatown neighbourhood.
Yet the moments where the guest singers aren’t there to lend a helping hand are the ones that really stick out. ‘Memories’ has an ’80s Manchester lilt, with tumbling synths pushing forward their hedonistic Haçienda manifesto, while the dark dancefloor filler ‘Best Of Me’ throbs with a devious energy. ‘Patience’ is impressive, for sure, but The Invisible still leave us wanting to see much, much more.
Record label: Ninja Tune
Release date: 10 Jun, 2016