By: Ellen Sherman
I have this disgusting love for jazz. In my opinion, it’s been lost in our generation, so I have a whole new respect for those that carry on the timeless sound. Laura Mvula is one of those ladies bringing that soul back, while making it accessible for listeners today.
Her first album, Sing to the Moon, was released in March of this year, and it’s intriguing to say the least. What draws me so much to the album is how raw her sound is. After a long year of over-produced and over-catchy songs, Mvula is a breath of fresh air. Most of her songs are simply her singing with a piano or string instruments, no bass produced by a board or auto-tuned voices in the background. It’s simply her and the music, and that’s what makes it so joyous to listen to.
“Green Gardens” was instantly my favorite song, one of her catchiest beats by far. The lyrics, in my opinion, express her love for simplicity and letting life take her where it needs to go. She doesn’t know where she will end up but she is willing to take the journey to get where she wants to be. Another one of her songs, “I Don’t Know What the Weather Will Be,” says the same thing; it speaks of an uncertain artist jumping into the difficulties of the music industry. Despite the trials and tribulations, she is going to push until she can no longer do so.
While she starts with these two upbeat pieces, she ends the album with powerful and deeply emotional songs. My personal favorite, “Father, Father,” is a blatant plea for love from her estranged father. I’ve never heard so much courage packed into one song, she proves that nothing is ever worth giving up on. Despite her confidence in a few of her catchy songs, she proves that everyone is vulnerable, and that’s what makes her stand out. There is nothing more straightforward then saying, “Let me love you,” over and over in a song to a man she has never met but somehow still feels connected to.
All in all, Laura Mvula is a woman that went from symphony secretary to the courageous woman that I’m listening to now. Her album is filled with up’s and down’s and all sorts of emotions. If you are looking for some easy listening and a modern day version of orchestral jazz, turn to Sing to The Moon; you won’t regret it.
I Don’t Know What the Weather Will Be
Ellen is the Live Events director for KCOU and a junior Strategic Communications major from Blue Springs, MO (we can just call that Kansas City – makes things easier.) She likes mexican food, cinnamon rolls, and the occasional Dexter episode. Her dream is to one day plan and promote concerts for a living, although she’s accepted the fact that she’ll probably end up as a hand model.