Song of the Day: Dinosaur Feathers – I Ni Sogoma

Photo by Aaron Colussi

photo by Aaron Colussi

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different songs as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s selection, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “I Ni Sogoma” by Dinosaur Feathers from their 2010 self-released album Fantasy Memorial.

Dinosaur Feathers – I Ni Sogoma (MP3)

From Brooklyn comes a band that sums up pop with tropical sounds and surf-friendly grooves. Dinosaur Feathers share a sentiment that is perhaps attached to the past in their debut LP, Fantasy Memorial, where a desire for an idyllic revival of old times is apparent through the sudden changes of rhythm from song to song, all while keeping an optimistic tone through tropical instrumentation and the voice of singer Greg Sullo.

Devoted to music, Sullo, along with Duck Zimmerman and Ryan Michael Kiley, sought to create more experimental harmonies, playing with samplers and sequencers to create their own avant-pop genre. The band was formed in 2008, and even though some members joined and left to accomplish their own dreams, the trio recorded an EP in 2009 titled Early Morning Risers. Dinosaur Feathers finally released their first full-length album last month, receiving favorable reviews from The New York Times, TimeOut NY, Magnet and Baeble.

Fantasy Memorial‘s opener, “I Ni Sogoma,” begins with the singing of birds, joined by tribal drums, acoustic guitar, group of voices and samplers playing tropical sounds. In keeping with the song’s African rhythms, the title is taken from the Dioula, a dialect spoken in the West African province of Côte d’Ivoire — “I Ni Sogoma” means “you and morning”, which is a way of greeting one’s beloved. Yet while the bright harmonies, lucid memories, and a strong feeling of nostalgia persist, the song eventually takes a turn when the lyrics evince the emptiness attributed to a person who walked away: “I greet the morning, I greet the dawn and without warning you are gone.”

Different matters of life are portrayed in this album, mostly through a diversity of styles. Hints of electro and surf are heard in some, while others sound more groovy. Fantasy Memorial, as the name suggest, can be defined as an expression to an idyllic life based on past memories, the “ifs” and “what could have been,” a feeling of sadness that becomes joyful with its instrumentation.

Currently, the band is performing in the Midwest and working their way back to New York. No shows are scheduled on this side of the country, but Dinosaur Feathers will be Live on the Morning Show on Wednesday, April 14th at 8AM (PST).

You can find more information about Dinosaur Feathers and their upcoming shows, visit their website, MySpace page, and Facebook page. For now, here’s a homemade video of the first single from Dinosaur Feathers’ EP Early Morning Risers, called “Know Your Own Strength”:

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  1. Kyra
    Posted April 5, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    I just wanted to say that “i ni sogoma” is actually from a language called Bambara which is predominantly found in Mali, I spent some time there and learned the language. Just wanted to share that, cool cool song

  2. Posted April 6, 2010 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing, Kyra. This website places it as Dioula, in the West African province formerly called the Ivory Coast, which shares a border with Mali, so I’m guessing that there’s some shared vocabulary as well:

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