WITCH To Release First Album In 40 Years On New Label Desert Daze Sound, Stream The First Single “Avalanche of Love” (feat. Sampa the Great)

WITCH by Pooneh Ghana

The team behind one of Southern California’s most popular festivals Desert Daze has launched a new record label in the form of Desert Daze Sound — and for its first release — they’re debuting new music from WITCH. The band’s new single “Avalanche of Love” (feat. Sampa the Great) serves as a preview for their forthcoming album Zango, an album that arrives nearly 40 years after the release of the one they thought would be their last. WITCH also has tour dates planned for this summer including stops at The Regent in Los Angeles on Aug. 12 and Music Box in San Diego on Aug. 14.


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WITCH (an acronym for, “We Intend To Cause Havoc”) rose to prominence in the 1970s as one of the most popular Zambian bands of the decade. They quickly became iconic producers of Zamrock — a fusion of African music with everything from psych-rock to blues and funk. And not long after the revival of their music with new reissues in 2012, they found themselves revered mainstays of Desert Daze itself. So it makes sense that Desert Daze Sound would make WITCH their first project given how much the band — which includes lead vocalist Emanyeo “Jagari” Chanda, keyboardist Patrick Mwondela, and an international collective of musicians — seems to embody the very spirit of the festival (not to mention its constantly morphing sound).


In “Avalanche of Love” the various meldings of genre unfold as these warming waves of jittery rock and mind-warping sonics. Against the buoyant warble of distorted guitars and the off-kilter percussion that drifts in and out of the foreground, the song is both a reminder of WITCH’s return to form as it is the reintroduction of their Zamrock sensibilities to a new generation. It’s to this jumble of electrifying riffs and limb-shaking bass that Sampa the Great lends her lambent vocals, which meander alongside the song’s jaunty rhythms and Jagari’s sonorous bellows.

The song also comes with a music video directed by Gio Arlotta and Tim Spreng that follows the band and Sampa the Great as they go from performing the song in the streets (dancing with different people who come along) to their studio and the big stage. It’s a video that captures the exquisite celebratory nature of Zamrock and its varying threads of influence. As well as the very mission statement of Desert Daze Sound itself, which the festival’s founder Phil Pirrone explained was a dedication to “facilitating the growth of artists that make the universe a better place.” WITCH is the musical embodiment of that goal.

artist to watch in 2023

See WITCH at The Regent in Los Angeles on Aug. 12 and Music Box in San Diego on Aug. 14.

Visit WITCH on their website and Instagram to stay updated on new releases and tour announcements.

Words: Steven Ward

Watch the music video for “Avalanche of Love” (feat. Sampa the Great) the new single from WITCH below!

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