(EBM) Michael Franti & Spearhead release their 13th studio album Big Big Love, available everywhere now. With all 17 tracks cowritten by Franti, Big Big Love reflects his tenacity, inclusiveness and optimism, despite both his own losses and worldwide hardships over the last few years.
"Togetherness is the central theme in all the songs on this record," shares Franti. "How do we get that feeling of togetherness, that feeling of closeness, that we so often overlooked and took for granted, but now has become so important? Not only just in terms of how we interact with each other in our neighborhoods or our personal relationships, but on a worldwide scale. How do we bridge these gaps so that people can feel close to one another again?
"There are forces in the world that use our division to achieve their greedy goals, their political aims, or just to divide people because they want to try to take advantage of it," he elaborates. "I want to really use my music and my time in my life to bring closeness to people and help them feel like they're not alone in this world."
With a stirring video accompaniment, "Hands Up To The Sky" quickly became a fan-favorite during live shows. Written by Franti, Greg Hvnsen and Daniel Lubwama Kigozi, the uplifting track permits listeners to make space in their minds and hearts by letting go of emotions and allow room for the joy that follows once on the other side.
"Writing 'Hands Up' was an important part of my healing journey and putting together the video was cathartic," reveals Franti. "I lost my father to COVID and after several months of grieving, I saw live music again for the first time - a Balinese band called The Munchies. At one point, I closed my eyes and put my hands up to the sky. My whole body started trembling, tears started coming down my cheeks, and I was laughing and crying and dancing and singing and shouting and just feeling everything over the previous few years rise up and out.
"I needed the music to help me open all the parts of my soul that were blocked due to just trying to figure out how to get through life each day. It was a reminder to me of how important music is, as it also brought that feeling of togetherness that I missed so much during the pandemic. That feeling of just being around other people watching a band play and experiencing that together."
Franti & Spearhead embarked on their Big Big Love Tour earlier this year with 60+ dates and 20+ sold out shows with iconic stops at Red Rocks Amphitheater, Summerstage in Central Park and the Greek Theatre followed by festival plays this fall at Oceans Calling and Farm-to-Fork Festival.
Following today's release, Franti's sold out Soulshine at Sea Cruise will set sail Nov. 4-8 from Miami, Florida to Costa Maya, Mexico with a lineup featuring John Butler of John Butler Trio, SOJA, Tank & The Bangas, Hirie, Fortunate Youth, Tropidelic, Southern Avenue, The New Respects, Bombargo, Navio and Shut Up & Dance. Soulshine at Sea includes unique curated activities with Franti and his wife Sara as well as soul-renewing wellness opportunities with instructors including Gina Caputo, QVLN & Sunshine Zerda, Jillian Keaveny, Kate Mak, Daphne Tse, Cappy Franti and DJ Shoshi.
With Franti's second voyage with Sixthman, in an effort to offset their carbon footprint, they have partnered with Arief Rabik and the Bamboo Village Trust, an Indonesian non-profit organization that follows the Village-Based Bamboo Agroforestry Model to promote bamboo as a sustainable alternative to timber and harness the potential of bamboo to rehabilitate billions of hectares of degraded lands worldwide. Money raised throughout the voyage will go towards the foundation's work to to help reduce deforestation and restore degraded land along the equatorial belt.
Big Big Love track list:
Meet Me When The Sun Goes Down (Michael Franti & Dav Julca)
Good Life (Michael Franti, Greg Hvnsen & Daniel Lubwama Kigozi)
Big Big Love (Michael Franti, Philip Larue & Jared Hampton)
Hands Up To The Sky (Michael Franti, Greg Hvnsen & Daniel Lubwama Kigozi)
Vibe Check (My Kinda Party) (Michael Franti, Greg Hvnsen & Daniel Lubwama Kigozi)
Nobody Like You (Michael Franti & Greg Hvnsen)
When It Ain't Perfect (Michael Franti & Dav Julca)
Anyone Can See (Michael Franti)
Lost But Not Alone (Michael Franti)
All I Need Is You And Me ((Michael Franti & Greg Hvnsen)
Happy Is The New Sexy (Michael Franti & Daniel Lubwama Kigozi)
Visa Visa Visa (Michael Franti)
All Night Long Forever (Michael Franti & Greg Hvnsen)
Thinking About You (Michael Franti & Daniel Lubwama Kigozi)
Out In The Sun (Michael Franti, John Gomez & Stephen Gomez)
The System (Michael Franti)
*Calling My Name (Michael Franti & Chris Stevens)
*Digital bonus track