Home / News / Red Baraat announces new album – out June 30; Shares first single “Kala Mukhra”

Red Baraat announces new album – out June 30; Shares first single “Kala Mukhra”

Red Baraat are excited to announce the upcoming release of a new album, Sound The People. The LP will be released on June 29 via Rhyme & Reason, their second for the label. You can pre-order the LP or CD here. Pre-order the album digitally here.

Today the band share the first single, “Kala Mukhra” and NPR notes, “Red Baraat is a Brooklyn-based ensemble that makes heart-pounding, insanely infectious music.”

The band’s Sunny Jain told them “Kala Mukhra’ is our take on a Punjabi folk song called ‘Ghora Mukhra.’ I first heard this song a couple of years ago when Ali Sethi shared a 1950s recording with me, featuring the acclaimed ghazal singer Iqbal Bano, with a brass band. I’ve heard very few Punjabi brass band recordings featuring a vocalist and so when Red Baraat was gearing up to work on a new album, it seemed fitting to try and see what we could do with this song. The meaning of Ghora Mukhra literally means “white face.” There’s a fetishization in South Asian culture about being fair-skinned or light-skinned, something that is pressed upon women. It’s ridiculous, but this kind of nonsense is witnessed throughout the world to varying degrees. So while we loved the melody and brass band flavor of this song, we needed a different narrative. I asked Ali if he could come up with some lyrics that are more aligned with our beliefs and also reflective of the times we are living in.


Red Baraat’s live show is not to be missed (WNYC have noted that they are the “most dependable good-time bands, with their irrepressible mix of bhangra – the dance music of the Punjab region, New Orleans horns, and New York attitude”) and the band will be touring non-stop in support of Sound The People. Their North American dates kick off on May 26 for a show in Austin, TX at 3Ten At Austin City Limits Live. The tour takes them to, among other cities, NYC, Los Angeles, and Vancouver. The full tour is listed below and tickets can be purchased here, with more dates to be confirmed.

From the moment the proverbial needle drops on Sound The People it’s clear that Red Baraat are taking their sonic signature to a new astral realm. On their newest offering, the Brooklyn-based band continues their exploration of South Asian culture, while firmly placing it within the context of a globalized generation as demonstrated by the diverse backgrounds of its members.  Jain began writing the album just weeks after Trump’s victory and he notes,  “the record is a call to action against the various inequalities and injustices that we’re seeing.  We desperately need citizen engagement in response to those injustices.”

Sound the People was produced by Little Shalimar (Run The Jewels) and Sunny Jain.  An array of special guests and carefully curated covers help to round out the album. Today’s single “Kala Mukhra” features Pakistani singer and writer Ali Sethi.  Elsewhere on the album are contributions from Heems (Das Racist), American poet and activist Suheir Hammad and  American humorist John Hodgman.  The album is the follow up to last year’s Bhangra Pirates and marks a decade of work for Red Baraat.

“With the migration that’s happened, there is all this varied and expressive music that has erupted from the South Asian diaspora,” says Jain, who was born to Punjabi parents in Rochester, NY. “Sound The People is a shout out to, and celebration of, this community around the world.”

5/7 – London, UK – Rich Mix
5/8 – Bristol, UK – The Louisiana
5/11 – Caceres, ES – WOMAD Caceres
5/12 – Madrid, ES – Sala Clamores
5/13 – Barcelona, ES – Club Marula
5/14 – San Sebastian, ES – Club Dabadaba
5/15 – Zaragoza, ES – Sala Las Armas
5/16 – Santander, ES – Sala BNS
5/17 – Bilbao, ES – Kafe Antzokia
5/18 – Paris, FR – New Morning Jazzclub
5/19 – Brussells, BE – Jam’in Jette Festival

5/20 – Nijmegen, NE – Music Meeting
5/22 – Wels, AT – Alter Schlachthof
5/24 – Vienna, AT – Wiener Konzerthaus
5/26 – Austin, TX – 3Ten @ Austin City Limits Live
5/27 – Dallas, TX – Soluna Intl Music & Arts Festival | Klyde Warren Park
6/8 – Flushing, NY – Flushing Town Hall
6/11 – Camden, NJ – Sunset Jazz Series at Wiggins Waterfront Park
6/22 – Los Angeles, CA – The Satellite

6/25 – Mill Valley, CA – Sweetwater Music Hall

6/26 – Oakland, CA – The New Parish
6/28 – Saskatoon, SK – SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival
6/29 – Saskatoon, SK – SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival
6/30 – Victoria, BC – TD Victoria International JazzFest | Centennial Square
7/1 – Vancouver, BC – TD Victoria International JazzFest | David Lam – Park Main Stage
7/25 – Reno, NV – Artown
7/27 – Denver, CO – Clyfford Still Museum Summer Series

7/28 – Basalt, CO – The Temporary
8/11 – Greensboro, NC – Lebauer Park
8/13 – Asheville, NC – The Grey Eagle
8/16 – Madison, WI – The Central Park Sessions
8/17 – Detroit, MI – The Cube at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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