Photo by Suat Kutlug

The Very Best release its new album MTMTMK on July 17th and are playing Johnny Brenda’s on Sunday, August 12th. Go here for tickets and more information about the show. The Very Best is Swedish-born producer Johan Hugo and Malawian singer and drummer Esau Mwamwaya. The band debuted in 2009 with their Warm Heart Of Africa, a contemporary dance music driven collection of funky jams with production by Radioclit and appearances from M.I.A. and Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend. Ann Powers, writing about MTMTMK for NPR Music says:

MTMTMK features many highly danceable earworms that could start any party and sound great on the radio. Renowned musical ambassadors K’Naan, Baaba Maal and Amadou & Mariam all make appearances. “Rumbae” even includes a hook which resulted from collaborations with “Dynamite” hitmaker Taio Cruz. Yet the focus and craft Hugo and Mwamwaya bring to MTMTMK only makes the music richer: “Rudeboy” and “We OK” (co-written with Bruno Mars) revive the spirit of new-wave genre-busters like The English Beat, whose pretty choruses were wrapped around sharp-edged stories of cultural collision and change.

Listen to MTMTMK via NPR Music here.