The big find from the recent Bonobo masterpiece Black Sands was the soulful vocal offered to several tracks by new band vocalist Andreya Triana. In a neat twist, band figurehead Simon Green has helped write and produce the Ninja Tune prot�g�’s debut long player, a blissful extended half hour of chilled but atmospheric songwriting.
Naturally the star of the show is Triana’s voice. The story behind her rise to singing is inspirational here, too, as it’s a nice spin on the classic �waitress to vocalist’ tale. Before becoming a vocalist, Triana previously worked as a server of sushi, as well as a stint in a hearing aid shop. It’s the kind of situation that brings out the best in soul singers, adding a touch of real life grit to the naturally sensual contours of the genre.
The voice, then, is gorgeous, breathy and mostly understated – no artificial hearing devices are required here. Triana can hit a powerful high note if she wants to, but this is a different kind of singing, mostly set for smoky nocturnal listening. Green recognises that too, with a sensitively orchestrated set of productions that bring her voice to the fore, but with plenty going on behind.
The songs themselves mostly stand up very well, though there are a few towards the end of the album that become relatively inconsequential. But by then maybe you’ll have fallen under Triana’s spell, with the blissful Draw The Stars, the drowsy Daydreamers, with its darker tints, and the more forthright beats of the title track, where the Bonobo influence is at its most palpable.
As with Green’s work the music feels very �live’, with subtly brushed beats around the edges of the small orchestra, which includes discreet strings and percussion, best illustrated on Something In The Silence. Not that Triana needs beats every time to make an impact, mind, as the gorgeous closing song X illustrates.
The only slight problem here is the nature of the melodies themselves, for while they slot in nicely to Morcheeba-type chillout with an added soul frisson, they don’t quite lodge in the memory until after a few listens. Yet when they do, you’ll have an album that proves difficult to dislodge, especially when the weather is hot.