Ebony Bones, Freak-Soul Sensation

Photo Courtesy of Joseph Paul

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


UK freak-soul wunderkind Ebony Bones is a woman possessed. Last Thursday I caught her intergalactic spectacle at San Francisco’s Popscene where it immediately wrangled me into its dance-inducing Funkadelic voodoo spell à la George Clinton. The wide-eyed songstress pushed onstage looking like a multicolored cartoon superheroine in her leopard-print space suit, purple and pink prosthetic lashes, hot pink tights, green boots, and large golden fro.

Bones’ hour-plus set presented a psychedelic, psychic exorcism of electro-buzz, tribal beats, African punk, and FUN! Backed by two dolled-up singers prone to uncontrolled convulsions, she performed her hits “W.A.R.R.I.O.R.” and “We Know All About U,” along with a crowd-rousing cover of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in The Wall (Part 2).” At one point, unable to find her signature cowbell, Bones exclaimed, “Where the fuck is it?” before erupting into hypnotic, torso-pumping gyrations. Flanked by her backup musicians, she even busted out a little voguing number, which you should witness here.

Also on the bill was fellow UK intercultural phenomenon VV Brown—who mixes rockabilly, ska, R&B, Auto-Tune, gongs, and a cadre of tribal instruments into a rich sonic jambalaya stew. There’s definitely a melting pot of genres brewing in Britain’s multicultural waters that involves fierce identity statements (think M.I.A. and the Noisettes; this fresh dance party is being led by intelligent feminists).

Bones’ debut, Bone of My Bones, is due out in May in America, but she’s already garnered buzz in the States as one of the best new acts at South By Southwest and earned herself a writeup in Rolling Stone. Fashion-wise, some bloggers are calling her the next Lady Gaga—although a black Karen O, or maybe Ari Up from The Slits, is probably more appropriate. In any case, no single narrative can contain—or explain—the mashup appeal of this English wildwoman. In the video below, she makes an entrance at South x Southwest.

 

Click here for more Music Monday features from Mother Jones.

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate