A music genre I don’t often connect with is Soul. I can really appreciate the groove and vocal gymnastics but I often crave the darker side of music. Enter Dominique Fils-Aimé with her quirky Soul and vocal layering on ‘Stay Tuned!’ – her second album.
Dominique has a very laid back sound with minimal instrumentation. The driving forces are her smooth voice and the percussion. Piano, bass and occasional other instruments support but they are all in support of the duo. That allows the album to skip between Soul, Jazz, a hint of Gospel and a splash of French Chatuese Camile.
Tracks like ‘Some Body’ can woe you with its catchy callbacks as well as it’s smoky jazz vibe. ‘Sun Rise’ will instead feel darker with a more percussive groove. ‘9LRR’ will instead ensnare you with beautiful vocal chants and a nod to Afro-Carribean rhythms.
Elsewhere ‘Revolution Serenade’ smashes the traditional ballad template but starting slow and ramping up into a defiant statement. ‘Constructive Interference’ channel Sade and ‘Where there is Smoke’ feels more in like with witchy folk than its Soul clothing. No track stays still. Each one moves effortlessly between setups and always feel light as a feather.
It’s this agility that makes ‘Stay Tuned!’ an album that grows on you over time. At first, I found the album pretty and interesting but it didn’t leap out at me. Then over time I really began to appreciate just what a melting pot Dominique Fils-Aimé has created. It may take a few listens to click – as often excellent albums outside your usual comfort zone do – but when it does, I promise you’ll stay tuned too.
Recommended track: 9LRR
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