After three years of waiting, Marcus Gad & Tribe finally deliver their new creation, Ready For Battle. It’s the fourth studio album by the New Caledonian artist working together with his band Tribe, which began backing Gad in 2017 for the album Chanting. The record releases digitally in North America on February 10, with the physical versions (double LP vinyl and CD) coming out on March 3 within the territory. Check it out here.
Ready For Battle revisits recurring themes that Marcus Gad has wrestled with in his music throughout his young career: cultivating a spiritual conscience in yourself; deep love and praise for nature; pushing for a collective awakening to change our current way of living before it destroys us and our world. These topics have always been important but have become even more essential to champion in our post-pandemic existence. With this album, Marcus Gad shares a message that stays true to his guiding principle: two feet planted on the ground, head in the cosmos.
Although the album was written and recorded between 2018 and 2019, in a world not yet subject to the drastic rules put in place to survive the global health crisis, Marcus was already practicing what he preached, striving to live consciously, and urging others to follow his lead. At that time, the songs Gad wrote for this album in many ways foretold what awaited us, but they feel just as resonant now: an invitation to take advantage of our fundamental rights, which for many seemed to be taken for granted. Ready For Battle was prescient: we were going to have to prepare to defend our rights, our humanity, and our resources. This has only become clearer upon release of the album a few years later.
Marcus Gad reminds us that we are up against the manipulations of multinationals and complicit governments that, in the name of economic growth, privatize and dispossess primordial resources such as water, or genetically modify the staple crops that feed humanity. For this reason, he calls for battle; not of actual physical war, but of resistance to a model that he considers outdated, armed with our spiritual, individual, and collective consciences, our will to maintain our status as free human beings, and to rethink our lives to be more in accordance with our environment. Ready For Battle’s 14 tracks are a call for solidarity in opposition to the individualistic, profit-driven world that divides us and conquers us.
Musically, this record also exemplifies this collective approach, as it was recorded live in the studio, with all the musicians playing together at the same time, as opposed to the more traditional method of individual studio sessions and overdubs. This group work in the studio allows for artistic emulation, small changes in tempo, spontaneous touches of color, and a tighter overall sound, especially with a top notch band like Tribe working so hard to achieve unity in the sessions. Following the unique sidestep release of Brave New World (also out on Easy Star – 2021), which featured Marcus working with producer Tamal on more programmed and electronically created tracks, Ready For Battle returns Gad & Tribe to their unique musical family unit, sounding a sonic war cry that cannot be ignored.