Words by Jesse Serwer
New Zealand and Trinidad & Tobago have a few things in common. They’re both twin island republics formerly colonized by the British. Almost no one who hasn’t lived in either place, or lived around enough people who have, can do their accents properly. Their residents are sometimes, when out in other parts of the world, mistaken for those of a larger, slightly more famous island nation nearby. And now there’s “Take Me Back to Trinidad” from New Zealand outfit Weird Together.
The video finds our protagonist, Trini vocalist RemBunction, bundled up in winter gear, dozing off while working a late shift in a stodgy office park somewhere in England, when he’s suddenly awakened by the sound of calypso. The culprit is a marina-wearing alter ego, tapping out an old-time melody on a Casio. What follows is a journey through the Trinidad Carnival envy checklist: pretty gyuls in revealing mas band wear; moko jumbies; scenes of Maracas Beach; the doubles lady; the legendary KFC on Charlotte Street in Port of Spain.
Then there is the song itself, classic ’50s/’60s calypso vibes processed through a synthesizer, with lyrics brilliantly delivered by RemBunction. Trinidadians will know RemBunction for his humorous, modern updates of traditional kaiso and also the Spanish-influenced parang music that plays in T&T during the Christmas season; recently they may have seen him in Bazodee, the 2016 film starring Machel Montano. For the rest of the world, here’s your introduction to a treasure of Trinidadian culture, as well as one to Weird Together, the eight-piece group that brought the track together. The result of a night spent in a YouTube calypso video wormhole and a cold call the following day, “Going Back to Trinidad,” available tomorrow on iTunes and Spotify, has become the centerpiece of the group’s live shows, and now finds itself a home on the label of another ambassador for Trini music, Jillionaire’s Feel Up Records.
If you’re still on the fence about that Trinidad Carnival trip this year, this video should probably push you over the edge, or at least onto Travelocity.