Exclusive Premiere: Thousand Days, ‘Turkana Boy’
With their latest full-length record due out tomorrow (Feb. 24), Diffuser is excited to give fans early access to Thousand Days’ Turkana Boy in its entirety. You can check it out in the audio player below.
Comprised of frontwoman Pardis Sabeti, guitarist Bob Katsiaficas and drummer Matt Hayden, Thousand Days blend together power and preciseness for an extraordinary listening experience — one that has as much social impact as it does musical.
If Sabeti’s name sounds familiar to you, that’s likely because you know her as the 2014 Time Person of the Year for her work with the Ebola outbreak. “We had actually completed recording Turkana Boy last winter just before the Ebola outbreak hit West Africa,” she tells us. “As we were preparing for the album’s release, the first Ebola cases were reported in Guinea, and soon after cases emerged in Sierra Leone where my friends and colleagues were on the front lines. While the band and I had been excited to get our music out, it did not feel right to do so amidst such dire circumstances, and so we delayed and delayed.”
She adds, “Nearly a year later, the outbreak still continues and we are still deep in the fight, but I realized that we needed to also continue to play music and affirm life. So we are finally putting Turkana Boy out there, and will be donating the proceeds of our album to the children of those many healthcare workers in West Africa who sacrificed their lives to help others.”
The delay in the release of the album only adds to its fabled timeline. “The songs span over a decade and tell stories of different times in our lives. ‘What’s the Worst,’ one of the oldest songs on the album, is based on my and my friends’ early ill-fated loves many years ago,” Sabeti explains. “‘Disco’ burst out one night in band practice after Bob introduced an amazing guitar riff and Matt jumped in with an unstoppable beat. ‘Set You Free’ poured out the morning my grandmother died. ‘Neda’ emerged over a number of practices after the death of Neda Agha-Soltan during the green movement in Iran.”
If you can’t tell, the recording process of the album was, as Sabeti puts it, “epic.” She tells us that they started Turkana Boy after she became a professor, and she was worried they would never finish it. “That we did is a testament of how much we enjoy working together and making music,” she says.
As for the future, it sounds like Thousand Days have some exciting — and important — plans. “We’ve been having a lot of fun as of late going in a different direction, recording music with scientists and musicians from Nigeria and Senegal,” Sabeti wraps up. “It started when these amazing ladies helped me reimagine one of our rock songs, ‘Headlight Waves.’ We have since recorded four songs together and will likely go back in the studio this summer to finish a record. But Bob keeps coming with some amazing driving hooks, and I hope there will soon be another rock album in our future, too.”
The new album hits the streets Feb. 24; you can get details on Turkana Boy and stay up-to-date with everything happening in Thousand Days’ world at their official website here.