MAST’s Fourth Alpha Pup Album is a Cry for Unity, Equality, and Justice

Photo | Eron Rauc

MAST will release a new album on Alpha Pup‘s World Galaxy label in January.

Battle Hymns of the Republic is the fourth album that MAST, real name Timothy Conley, from Philadelphia, has released with the Los Angeles label, and all three previous outings have been funnelled through a conceptual lens. 2014’s Omni presents a sonic amalgamation of nature samples, acoustic instruments, and electronics; 2016’s Love and War_ was arranged in a three-act play structure exploring love and loss; and 2018’s Thelonious Sphere Monk is a cosmic journey reinterpreting the great Monk songbook.

In line with this, Battle Hymns of the Republic is a “dissident’s brew of critical environmental and socio-political issues of the day,” we’re told.

Scored by moving orchestral arrangements, poignant spoken word, impassioned jazz sensibilities, and angular electronic beats and samples, Conley reflects compositionally on our present day battles for unity, equality, facts, justice, and empathy for those in need. Each track, or “hymn,” addresses these attacks on not just who and what we are as a country in the United States, but also our responsibility to fellow human beings and the place we hold in the global society.

Like previous albums in the MAST catalog, Battle Hymns of the Republic features various members of the global music community. The group that performed compositions across the release consists of Luis Mascara (violin), Artyom Manukyan (cello), Dan Rosenboom (trumpet), Gavin Templeton (alto/bari sax), Brian Marsella (keyboards), Jason Fraticelli (upright bass), Anwar Marshall (drums), and Maxwell Hallett (drums).

Conley composed full band arrangements and added guitar, bass, keys, beats, and programming himself.

Tracklisting

01. Affirmation
02. Call to Action
03. The Anti-Fascist Battle Hymn
04. The Golden Door (feat Andrée Belle)
05 .Nation of Immigrants
06 .Civil Disobedience
07. Benevolence (feat Dwight Trible)
08. Nation of Refugees
09. Their Fear of Diversity
10. All of The Colors (feat Jimetta Rose)
11. Hymn
12. I Pledge My Grievance to The Flag
13. Diaspora of Climate Change
14. Psalm For All Tomorrows

Battle Hymns of the Republic LP is scheduled for January 29, 2021 digital release. Meanwhile, you can stream “Call to Action” below and pre-order the album here.

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