New Sound: Kesswa – Soften

Album: Kesswa - Soften EP.

As the title Soften suggest experimental singer and songwriter Kesswa’s new EP will undoubtedly take the edge off any negative energy

The release features four spacious, mid-tempo pieces that pull together luxurious ambient sounds snuggly married with electronic, house, and soul.

Starting with ‘Open’, it’s slow and steady to begin, but as the beat kicks in, things start to heat up a little. The slow-burning shuffling sounds of ‘Contemplate’ come next featuring warm synth chords, beautiful harp plucks and Kesswa’s lush tones. The standout cut To Find,” is driven by a tantalizing call-and-response, and is a showcase for Kesswa’s stunning vocal range. Closing out the EP where it began, Open’ returns; but the percussion is stripped away and replaced with strings and synths which provide an enthralling backdrop for her gorgeous vocals. 

Speaking about the disparate cultural influences used to build her sound, she says “I was inspired by the song structure of traditional Nigerian music and Buddhist mantra”.

 The minimalist yet equally captivating production from Benjamin Hill and Ahya Simone Taylor’s majestic harp arrangements are both spellbinding. Still, it’s the beauty and charm of Kesswa’s stirring voice and her affecting songwriting which steal the show. 

With an LP with Shigeto on the way, we can’t wait to hear what else she has in store for us next.

But for now, sit back and relax to the music below!

Soften is out now. Buy from Bandcamp.

CF Smith

Write for Music Is My Sanctuary & Stereofox.

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