I remember the day I first heard Laura Mvula sing (January 18th, 2013) because I was so amazed by what I heard that I immediately posted a blog entry about it. I kept an eye (and ear) on her music and would post additional blog entries about some of her other songs (“That’s Alright” and “Jump Right Out”) because I was enthralled with her sound and excited about her debut album “Sing To The Moon”.
Laura Mvula’s music cannot be easily classified, as it is a sound that frankly defies stylistic categorization. As allmusic.com proffers, Laura’s music is “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.” I agree with the assessment, and would even boil it down simply as classy and sophisticated, orchestral neo-soul music. Some seriously good, grown folk sounds for those who appreciate musicality and message in their music.
I was ecstatic when I found out that Laura was scheduled to perform April 16, 2013 at the Bootleg Theater, and I immediately snapped up tickets. As fate would have it, however, I was asked to speak at my Alma Mater that same week, and to my dismay, I had to give my tickets up. As a small consolation, I received my copy of Laura’s debut on vinyl (a UK export that has an amazing recording of Stevie Wonder’s “Something Out of The Blue”) and for the next few months listened to it whenever I needed to set my mind and soul at ease.
I received a notice (thank you social media!) that Laura was to do another round of touring in the United States with a stop in Los Angeles September 17th, and I agains purchased tickets to her show. This time, though, I made sure I had no conflicting appointments.
Laura’s show was simply amazing. Me and my friends were able to get up to the very front of the venue for the performance, and as fate would have it, Laura’s keyboard was basically in front of us, and thus we were privileged to have Laura performing no more than 5 yards from us for a majority of the show. I could see her every breath and read the emotions on her face with every lyric. It was a beautiful experience. A moving experience. During the most tender part of the concert, when Laura sang “Diamonds” and “Father, Father” back to back, you could feel the audience release a collective sigh following the last note of “Father, Father”. I did not have to look around to know that there were some in the audience tearing up because … truth be told … I was busy dabbing the corners of my eye as well.
My anticipation for new music from her is at an all time high. My commitment to see her perform live again has been verified. An amazing concert by an amazing artist. Her performance at the El Rey has a spot in my top 10 concert performances of the year. Nuff’ said.
- Like The Morning Dew
- Let Me Fall (not in the album)
- Flying Without You
- Is There Anybody Out There?/ One Love (Bob Marley& The Wailers cover)
- Sing to the Moon
- Father, Father
- Green Garden
- That’s Alright
- Make Me Lovely (Encore)