Rupa & the April Fishes create a singular sound that unapologetically runs across genre, culture and form to bring a fresh take on styles as diverse as indie folk, art rock, roots reggae, chanson, cumbia, jazz and politically charged punk. Their engaging body of music pulls from a decade of concerts, street parties, festivals and symphonic concerts on four continents, four studio albums and one live album, several languages from English to Tzotzil to French, many musical traditions, countless moments of joy, sorrow, loss, and transformation and a fierce independent spirit.
The band's first album eXtraOrdinary
rendition examines love from many angles,
with lyrics mostly in French; the second Este
Mundo traces the plight of migrants
crossing borders, largely in Spanish; BUILD
is their latest studio album primarily in English,
produced with collaborator Todd Sickafoose. Its
twelve songs examine the road from solitude to
solidarity in both directions and arise from this
particularly tender moment of global awakening—from
the collapse of capitalism and false democracies to
the rise of populist movements around the world.
Their LIVE at the
Independent album was produced at the request of fans who wanted to capture the wild balance of composition and improvisation that is the hallmark of the band's rock performance and has become a historic document at the center of a lawsuit which liberated "Happy Birthday To You" back to the commons where it belongs. Their latest release - OVAL - is an exquisite collection of string quartet love songs arranged by composer Mark Orton for Quartet San Francisco.
The band comes from all over the world and converge in the San Francisco area to become the April Fishes with ringleader Rupa. In their work together, musical languages converge; from punk to indie rock, from reggae to raga to rockabolly, chanson to cumbia, from Malian guitar patterns to mournful duduk melodies. In other times and places musical traditions have met to forge a sound that is more insistence than resistance; this band and their music belong to that long tradition of rebel music.
"A jaw-dropping potpourri" - Relix Magazine
"The April Fishes' sound is ecstatic and powerfully evocative." - LA Times