Album Of The Week: Daymé Arocena – Nueva Era

Dayme-Arocena

This week’s hot album comes from 22 year-old Dayme Arocena’. Recorded in just a few days in London and Havana, Arocena’s debut album is a work of elegant maturity, showcasing her diverse range of influences. Her background as a choir director is in evidence on the wonderful layered vocals on tracks like ‘Nueva Era’, ‘Nino’ and ‘Madres’. ‘Madres’ also alludes to the Santeria chanting that have formed part of Dayme’s worship since childhood. The lead single ‘Don’t Unplug My Body’ shows off Daymé skill at writing an easy-on-the-ear pop tune, whilst there is humour in ‘El Ruso’ (about her mother being forced to learn Russian in the Soviet-supported Cuba of the 80s) and in the lament ‘Dust’ (inspired by Dayme visit to Canada – she was horrified by the dust in the houses, compared to Cuba where everything is kept meticulously clean) A strong jazz influence is clear throughout the album. Beautiful ballads like ‘Come to Me’ and ‘Sin Empezar’ complete a confident and well-balanced longer player. The switching between Spanish and English lyrics hinting at an ambition to reach a worldwide audience with her music. Apart from on the deep rumba of ‘El Ruso’ – recorded in Cuba – Dayme is backed by a truly world-class London band (Percussionist Oli Savill, Robert Mitchell on piano, and Neil Charles on bass) . Nueva Era will leave you wanting more and I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ve heard from this talent. Tune in below.

8/10

CF Smith

Write for Music Is My Sanctuary & Stereofox.

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