Across contemporary music’s splintered genre landscape, it is widely held that the funk ecosystem is the most fun. There are two main reasons for this, the first and primary reason being that within funk there’s a greater average likelihood of a horn section. I shouldn’t have to tell you that horns improve every conceivable scenario, but I must stress that this is an omni-universal phenomenon that also includes dry select committee hearings, invasive dental procedures and funerals. The second reason is pithier – fun is ¾ of the word funk itself. Checkmate. I will not be taking questions.
‘Bunny Men’ continues London-based singer songwriter and funky lad Red Diesel’s apparent desire to have as much fun as possible. It follows 2020’s ‘Feelitooelectricboogaloo’, a slinking red velvet groover with wonderfully delivered spoken word choruses that possess welcome overtones of that Soccer96/Alabaster DePlume collaboration of the same year. It’s a joyous, bouncy affair with lyrical roots in meditation and spirituality and – you’ll be glad to hear – plenty of mischievous horn stabs throughout. The sound Red Diesel commands in this track is restorative and refreshing, with leading roles for a) a muscular clav the likes of which you don’t hear quite so much these days and b) a tangible sense of optimism, countering in some small way the overwhelming sense of despondent misery brought forth by these unprecedented times of precipitous societal disquiet.
At risk of belabouring the point, ‘Bunny Men’ is a lot of fun – springy, cheery and confident across its three or so minutes, in part due to a breezy mix and backing vocals from Buggs’ Alice Western. And while the lyrics circle around the abandonment of hope as a means to emancipate and enlighten oneself an element of hopefulness remains. However paradoxical this may be, a little goes a long way – perhaps now more than ever.
Words: Ed Hambly // Photo: Lewis Baxter
‘Bunny Men’ is out now. Stream the track below via Soundcloud and check out Red Diesel’s other music via Bandcamp.