Rupa and the April Fishes Show Their Worldly Influence

by Dre Grigoropol

When Rupa Marya isn’t healing the sick as a doctor at her day job, she leads the world-music quintet Rupa and the April Fishes. Their newest album, BUILD, is produced by Todd Sickafoose — best known for collaborating with folk songstress Ani DiFranco — and promises the gritty, bass-heavy folk realness that is Sickafoose’s trademark.

Based in sunny San Francisco, the band’s members come from all over the world to fuse R&B with many multicultural influences, including Latin, African, Yelamu Indian, and Islander music. Though their previous two albums, Extraordinary Rendition and Esta Mundo, have been primarily in French and Spanish, the newest release will be in English.

Their songs have an old world, bohemian feeling underscored by a caffeinated tempo. Rupa’s voice is saucy, mysterious, and comparable in power to the late Amy Winehouse; her new single, “Gone,” is reminiscent of both Winehouse’s hit album Back to Black and the Amélie soundtrack. Plus, this band does fit into the “ska” genre, so you and your friends can skank to this music as easily as you can to The Specials.

BUILD crawls out of a dark, smoky tavern and into your iPod on October 2. 


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