Ibeyi - River
Ibeyi is made up of twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz. Cuban-born but raised in Paris, they sing in English, Spanish, French and Yoruba. Ibeyi means “twins” in Yoruba and in West Africa, where their father was from, it is four times more likely for twins to be born.
River is steeped in Yoruba tradition, from the use of a Batá drum, to the lore woven into the lyrics. But the song isn’t merely a celebration of heritage, the bass line plucks with electronica and their voices are tinged with static. It is a kind of representation of these unreal women.
Their expansive hair, bare faces and wide open eyes are entrancing. It’s hard not to stare directly at their paled lips as they sing, raspy sweet harmonies. But it’s misdirection—you almost miss the hands of the men, one clutching the t-shirt, the other behind their heads. You begin to notice that every time one of the Diaz twins sings it is the hand that pushes and pulls her out of water. Are they being cleansed—baptized? Or drowned?
If you want more background into the twins, their influences and their heritage, I highly recommend you check out the post written by okayafrica about them.