Labyrinth Lounge Photo credits Emmanuel Ruffler


We are pleased to present the premiere of ‘It’s Just Water’ from Labyrinth Lounge, an outfit based out of Oakland, California and New York City. This is the second single from their forthcoming ‘Porgy’ album.

Slated for release in a few weeks, the band’s debut will be released via New York’s Rufftone Records, a fast growing NYC-based label with a focus on producing genre-defying music. The latest releases include the piano-drum duo “Painting”, as well as jazz-core group “A Tree Grows” featuring two-time Grammy award winner Tivon Pennicott.

This new track, in particular, is high energy and quite a lot closer to jazz with a terrific funk and hyper-Gershwin Broadway vibe laced throughout it. Vocalist Valerie Troutt’s delivery here is stunning, with so many ups and downs taking the listener on a rollercoaster of aural delight.

Labyrinth Lounge was originally conceived and launched in New York in the late nineties, and then reformed in 2016, building their core with a fine blend of soul, pop jazz and the spirit of social activism. After a recent performance at Oakland’s Studio Grand, the band locked themselves away in Richmond, California’s Bird and Egg Studio, and the result is this ‘Porgy’ LP,

Today, Labyrinth Lounge (Valerie Troutt – vocals), Ambessa ‘the Articulate’ Cantave (rap vocals), Emanuel Ruffler (keyboards), John Ormond (bass), Jaz Sawyer (drums), and sometimes Maya Kronfeld (piano).

“It’s Just Water is about several things, as water plays many different roles daily to each one of us,” explains Valerie Troutt. “The song talks about creating a clearer understanding of what is troubling you. Acknowledge the water, it’s just water. It will eventually pass by, but can’t you feel it deep within? Basically acknowledge that which is moving you to become a better human and stand against your doubt and fear. It’s time to ‘tell The people that it’s time to stand up and be strong’.”

Sound-wise, this new single differs quite a lot from the band’s debut single ‘Trouble Won’t Last, which presents the more chilled laxsidasical side of the band. You can check that video out for yourself here, which was produced by Townfuturist Media, directed by Korise Jubert, and features members of the Mooncandy LiveHouse Ensemble, together with Labyrinth Lounge.

You can follow developments with Labyrinth Lounge on Facebook and on Twitter as @RufftoneRecords.

Photo credits Emmanuel Ruffler

All words via Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog and you can follow him on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.

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Born and bred in Lancashire, currently residing in the Rossendale Valley. Everything deserves one listen, but, not necessarily a second. Only (ex-Community) DJ to ever play Nat ‘King’Cole followed by Nine Inch Nails, and, eat Fish and Chips live on air.


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