After pouring through several demos to find the perfect artist for my inaugural blog I stumbled across Angéline’s Back to Pike Place. The natural sounds in the opening track, “Kohly,” immediately caught my attention, providing a peaceful introduction to her lead song, “Black Butterflies.” The catchy beat and rich supporting vocals had me grooving to this song in seconds. Angéline’s low folksy voice is soothing. The harmonic variation provides the perfect balance between engaging and relaxing. The strong rhythmic dynamic keeps the song moving until it fades out in the end.
“Si J’avais La Choix” is more upbeat but breaks into simple chords for the first verse to showcase Angéline’s smooth voice. “Aama” was written in the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake, telling the story of Angéline’s friend who survived the quake. The heavy bass line and percussive keyboard accents paint a picture of deep emotion. The song was written to be given away for donations for Nepal’s relief fund at justgiving.com.
“While I Was Away” begins with a simple vocal introduction before adding a soft bass line. Angéline masters vocal blending as she harmonizes with herself to add subtle dynamics and depth in these easy going rhythmic song. “Ghost Dance” is a calming, slightly apathetic outro lullaby.
The London-based French singer/songwriter accurately describes her album as bold and raw.
“It was made at home using whatever we had around us. The purpose was not to be limited by money that I don’t have, finding a way of creating songs with whatever is around me.”
The beats in this album were inspired by Angéline’s trip to Havana where she explored her passion of salsa dancing. Angéline aimed to make the album as authentically natural as possible, incorporating contrasting sounds from her two favorite cities, Havana and London. The Cuban influences in the percussion combined with the culture of both cities and Angéline’s rich vocals create an engaging musical journey for any listener of Back to Pike Place. The album is set to release on September 18, 2015. Join the Back to Pike Place launch party on Facebook.