Tuesday, 30 April 2013
Label RCA Victor
Producers Steve Brown
Given that the last few years has seen an abundance in jazz-inflected retro pop music, born of the work of artists such as Amy Winehouse, Lana Del Rey and Michael Kiwanuka to name a few, it takes something special to make the industry cognoscenti take notice and distinguish a newcomer from the rest of the pack.
Laura Mvula had that something special when she released her EP She to widespread critical acclaim at the tail end of last year, and it follows that her full debut album Sing to the Moon featured prominently on this year's list of highly anticipated albums including the BBC Sound of 2013 and The Ephemeric's own annual hot list. Released last month, the album manages to somewhat justify the hype.
The quality of the music comes not just from the cleverness of Mvula's songwriting as much as the originality and boldness of the soundscape. As a singer Mvula has the classically rich, strong voice that draws her comparisons with other soul artists, but it's her refreshingly refined take on the genre that stands out.
Mvula sets herself apart through the distinct quality of her compositions, striking a tone that is at once instantly recognisable as her own without stifling the diversity of her work. Songs range as far as the euphoric harmonies of opening track Like the Morning Dew to the downtempo sobriety of Jump Right Out and the electrified Green Garden. Yet all these sounds have in common the same signature sensibilities; the delicate and complex melodies, the quirky and pleasantly unpredictable arrangements and universally tasteful refinement that belies Mvula's classical background.
At its best, Sing to the Moon can be dazzling. It's an impressive debut display of songwriting talent from the Birmingham-based songstress that will doubtless establish her name in the pop music landscape.
Like the Morning Dew
Jump Right Out