Laura Mvula Sing to the Moon
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- Released: May 14, 2013
- Originally Released: 2013
- Label: Sony
Q (Magazine) - p.943 stars out of 5 -- "An erudite, mellifluous blending of classical influences, choral music, gospel, jazz, soul and African elements, with her pure voice at its centre..."
- 1.Like the Morning Dew
- 2.Make Me Lovely
- 3.Green Garden
- 4.Can't Live With The World
- 5.Is There Anybody Out There?
- 6.Father, Father
- 7.That's Alright
- 9.I Don't Know What The Weather Will Be
- 10.Sing to the Moon
- 11.Flying Without You
Personnel: Laura Mvula (vocals, piano, celesta, organ, Wurlitzer organ, tubular bells, hand claps, drum programming, sampler, background vocals); Les Davidson (guitar); Vicky Lester, Rhian Hanson (harp); Jo Archard, Chris Clad, Sarah Sexton, Clare Howick, Dermot Crehan, Maria Ryan, Cormac Browne, Vicky Lyons (violin); Polly Wiltshire, Triona Milne, Cian O'Duill, Nick Barr (viola); Vicky Matthews, Sarah McMahon, Magdalena Pietraszewska, Rachael Lander, Nick Holland (cello); Martin Williams , Phil Todd (flute, piccolo, clarinet); Roberto Manzin, Dave Bishop (flute, clarinet); Andy Greenwood, Steve Sidwell, Paul Spong (trumpet, flugelhorn); Neil Sidwell (bass trumpet, trombone, bass trombone); Mark Nightingale (trombone); Ad Hallowell (bass trombone); Kevin Morgan (tuba); Paul Gardham, Brendan Thomas, Hugh Seenan, Philip Woods , Dave Lee (horns); Steve Brown (celesta, vibraphone, glockenspiel, electric bass, shaker, tambourine, tubular bells, hand claps, drum programming, Theremin, background vocals); Andy Hamill (upright bass, electric bass); Troy Miller, Richard Marcangelo (drums); Tom Elmhirst (percussion, programming); Matt Wittingdon (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Tom Elmhirst.
Recording information: 212 Studios London; LA Sound London.
Photographer: Josh Shinner.
Arrangers: Laura Mvula; Steve Brown .
Birmingham Conservatoire graduate and former music instructor Laura Mvula appeared in November 2012 with She, a four-song EP led by its title track. An elaborate and uplifting number -- part lullaby, part empowerment anthem -- "She" was unlike anything on the U.K. charts. It left an impression immediate and deep enough to land her a nomination for the BBC's Sound of 2013 poll. Sing to the Moon, her full-length debut, features "She" and builds upon that song's theatrical sound. It's rooted in decades-old forms of gospel, jazz, R&B, and, most deeply, orchestral pop. Almost all of the material is as serious and as refined as it is majestic, with vocal showcases and hushed-belted-hushed-belted dynamics galore. Taking in all the floating brass and drifting strings can be strenuous, but the tempo and mood perk up on the chiming romp "Green Garden," where Mvula drops the histrionics, loosens up, and projects pure joy: "Putting my bag down, taking my shoes off/Walk in the carpet of green velvet." "That's Alright," another wholly spirited number, opens with little more than tumbling drums and melodic hums as Mvula beams, "I will never be what you want, and that's all right/'Cause my skin ain't light, and my body ain't tight." The song then bursts with horns as the singer asserts, "Tell me, who made you the center of the universe?" and "What 'cha gonna do when I fly over you?" Although it's more admirable than it is enjoyable, Sing to the Moon marks the arrival of a unique and major talent -- one with a commanding voice seemingly from another dimension -- who should be worth watching for many years to come. ~ Andy Kellman
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