Take a minute to consider how many male musicians there are in SA. Compare that to how many females are doing their thing in the local music industry. I think the point I’m trying to prove is pretty clear. So when three girls rock in Afrikaans, it is a pretty brave move and consequently a pretty big deal. I’m not saying that every female in the industry should be praised just for the sake of being female – of course they still need to prove themselves just like their male counterparts.
The all-girl group, SAARKIE, has come a long way since competing in the
Rockspaaider high school competition, so that in itself is a victory. Their third full-
length album titled ‘Reisiger’ is already making waves after its release a few
months ago and we decided to give it a thorough spin.
From the first song, it is clear that there’s a different atmosphere being created
by SAARKIE on this album compared to their previous releases. One
immediately senses a mellower mood soaring through the songs. Fans from
early days can rest assured that SAARKIE hasn’t completely lost their rock roots,
but it seems like they’ve made a definite decision to tone it down in order to
reach a much wider audience. Yes, some fans might be upset that the songs are
more commercial than some of their earlier work, but everybody needs to eat,
right? Adèle Fouché (lead vocals, guitar and harmonica), Lila Botha (drums) and
Lourene Mostert (bass and keyboard) are avid musicians, so I am glad that their
new music can potentially span much wider.
The songs’ themes and styles hop from one side of the spectrum to the other but is tied together effortlessly. The first single, ‘Dullstroom’, is a folky, upbeat tune with a strong
proudly South African element, which can also be heard on ‘Afrika Land’ and
‘Vroue van Afrika’. Melodic tracks like ‘Kamers Van My Hart’ and ‘Somerjare’
show a softer, feminine side to the group. They move just as comfortably to the
reggae genre on ‘One Love’ and to blues rock on ‘Free Falling’. The SAARKIE
we’ve come to love from the early years is most evident on ‘Chuck Norris’, a sexy
rock track where Adèle isn’t shy to belt out her vocals and play the harmonica
with unparalelled passion.
The group decided to include their rendition of Ryno Velvet’s ‘Ai My Lam’ on this
album. A cover always has the potential to go terribly wrong, but SAARKIE’s
version takes on a completely different feel, without losing the essence of what
makes the song special. On ‘Nader Aan My’ they teamed up with Jan Blohm,
whose voice merges beautifully with Adèle’s to create a bit of hidden magic on the album.
‘Reisiger’ is an album filled with nostalgia, memories, adventures and
dreams. SAARKIE’s sound has matured well and both the devoted and the new
fan will be able to identify and sing along to these thirteen well written and
It might not be a man’s world after all…