Protect Your Light is the kind of artistic and social statement that simultaneously plugs into and tweaks the zeitgeist. Over the course of the record’s eight tracks the poet/vocalist Camae Ayewa (often known as Moor Mother), bassist Luke Stewart, trumpeter Aquiles Navarro, saxophonist Keir Neuringer, and drummer Tcheser Holmes unite to deliver an unconditional statement of intent and rhythm. IE’s improvisations are molded in the fire of the moment, while its songs are born in experience, where music and life are one and the same. There is no one remotely like them on the planet, and no recent album like this one.
Primarily recorded over three days in January 2023 at the historic Rudy Van Gelder Studios in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Protect Your Light is the band’s most accomplished work to date, surpassing even the three already-classic records they cut for Chicago’s International Anthem.
Protect Your Light features contributions from the greater members of Irreversible Entanglement’s community—pianist Janice A. Lowe, cellist Lester St. Louis, and vocalist Sovei—who help illuminate the band’s musical dexterity and expand the breadth of its beautiful consciousness.