Blog February 2, 2022
Roll Over, Tennessee; Rock on, Trinidad and Tobago: Hear Kes the Band’s “Jolene”

Soca and country are about as far apart as genres get, so I suppose that Trinidad and Tobago’s Kes the Band can safely call their new single “Jolene” and not need to worry about people confusing the tune with Dolly Parton’s 1974 hit. Just starting the video lets you know you’re nowhere near Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Check it out:

Directed by Trinidadian filmmaker Maya Cozier, the group is dressed in their Tropicalista ‘60s-Brazil best, looking like the Caribbean answer to Black Orpheus. “I’ve always been a huge fan of Kes, and when I heard the song I got excited,” Cozier says of “Jolene.” “I immediately thought of calypso, and wanted to capture that time period.”

The world of the video is vibrant, colorful and warm—all things that make releasing it in the dead of the northern hemisphere’s winter such a good idea, it’s almost cruel. It’s also a potent reminder that carnival is happening at the end of the month—albeit in a slightly tweaked, public health-friendly manner—kicking off in Trinidad on Feb. 28.

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