Lunafruit at Kansas Smitty’s

Musically speaking, there is rarely something more exciting than going to a new band’s launch night and being blown away. We had this privilege last week, and one we owe entirely to neo-soul trio Lunafruit.

Tucked away in the dimly-lit, downstairs jazz bar of Kansas Smitty’s, lead vocalist Sophie Grant addresses a packed crowd. It’s an exciting debut for the band, filled to the rafters with family, friends and early fans.

They open with ‘Superhero’, the first of two recently released singles. Without hesitation, we’re in full swing as the group deliver a flurry of soulful vocals, low-slung basslines and fresh licks of guitar. It’s clear that while the group are new, they’re far from novices.

It’s no surprise really, the trio have known each other since 2015 when they met at a studio in South London working as session musicians. As they rattle their way through a selection of unreleased originals, what stands out most is the group’s versatility, effortlessly transitioning from heftier sounds to much softer numbers. And we’d be lying if we weren’t especially pleased to hear their single ‘Rise’ (that we premiered a few months back) played out live.

It was similarly refreshening to hear their take on a series of covers, taking on Lucy Pearl, Bon Iver and closing with an impromptu jam-style version of Estelle’s ‘American Boy’. While covers are often overly-ambitious, the ability of Lunafruit to imprint their own brand of soul and funk onto each version was commendable.

Channeling the same energy as the likes of Moonchild, Yakul and Big Words, we couldn’t be more excited to hear what Lunafruit have in store for us. The good news is that their debut EP is due to be released in November, so keep your eyes (and ears) open.

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