Life Affirming: The Very Best’s “We OK”

Every once in a while, you hear a song that makes you stop and appreciate the wonder of life. That moment occurred to me two days ago when I heard this gorgeous track, “We Ok”, by The Very Best featuring the Somalian born K’Naan.  (In case you are wondering, I heard it on NPR’s All Songs Considered “Summer Preview” Podcast, click here to hear the other songs.)

This song is a bundle of sunshine and joy but not in any sentimental or saccharine way. It is pure, unadulterated celebration of the day-to-day and seeing the beauty of things despite the challenges that surround you. It is the song I want to play for friends and family to remind them that even when things seem bleak and difficult, we all need to take a step back and recognize the immensity and preciousness of life and how fortunate we are to have another day to be a part of it all. So indulge me for 4 minutes and 36 seconds to listen to these talented musicians bring a smile to your face. (By the way, I am willing to concede that Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” is 2012’s “Song of the Summer”, but consider whether this might be #1a.)

Quick background details:  The Very Best are a group composed of Esau Mwamwaya from Malawi and Johan Hugo of London.  The group released a fabulous record in 2010 entitled Warm Hart of Africa.  The record is a blend of East Africa beats and rhythms and European dance-style production.  Just like “We Ok”, it will get you wanting to move around the dance floor or your house with child-like glee.  But, more than anything, these guys are just a pleasure to listen to. Also in case you need additional encouragement, Ezra Koening of Vampire Weekend appears on one of the tracks.

The Very Best will be touring the US at the end of this summer — go see them!  Locations and dates below.   Chicago, who wants to join me?

Also for more information about the band or to pre-order their upcoming record, visit their website here.


August 10 Rock N Roll Hotel Washington, DC*
August 11 101 Lee Street Bristol, VA†
August 12 Johnny Brenda’s Philadelphia, PA*
August 13 Irving Plaza New York, NY*
August 16 Majestic Theatre Madison, WI*
August 17 Lincoln Hall Chicago, IL*
August 18 Page Park Dixon, IL‡
August 20 Fox Theatre Boulder, CO*
August 22 The Crocodile Seattle, WA*
August 23 Holocene Portland, OR*
August 24 Mezzanine San Francisco, CA*
August 25 Monterey County Fairgrounds Monterey, CA§
August 27 Echoplex Los Angeles, CA**
August 28 The Casbah San Diego, CA*

* with Seye
† with Mumford & Sons, Dawes, JEFF The Brotherhood, Apache Relay, Simone Felice and Haim
‡ with Mumford & Sons + Gogol Bordello, Dawes, Abigail Washburn, Apache Relay and Haim
§ with Mumford & Sons + Gogol Bordello, Apache Relay and Haim
** with MNDR

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