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Kiesza provides nostalgia with Sound of a Woman

The singer-songwriter crosses genre lines

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Album: Sound of a Woman

Artist: Kiesza

Label: Lokal Legend / Island Records

Release Date: Oct. 21

Grade: B+

Kiesza travels across music genres and timelines, delivering an ebullient homage to ’90s deep house, R&B and dance with Sound of a Woman.

The singer-songwriter originally played folk music, but then met soul producer Rami Samir Afuni and gradually transitioned to a more upbeat sound. With a new approach to music amplified with retro flair, Kiesza’s creates a fresh, intriguing sound.

Sound of Woman dives into themes of love and heartbreak showcasing Kiesza’s high-pitched vocal range.

The album opens with Kiesza’s platinum summer hit, “Hideaway.” The song is up-tempo and filled with a house bassline and cracking drums. It’s heightened with Kiesza’s blissful vocals.

“You're just a hideaway, you're just a feeling / You let my heart escape, beyond the meaning,” Kiesza sings about falling hard for someone. Her “oohs” and “ahs” add a feeling of euphoria throughout the track.

“Losin’ My Mind” begins with Kiesza singing a cappella leading into DJ scratching, rhythmic drums and a suave bassline. “All this talk of eternity / Why not start out one single night,” Kiesza croons to a potential love interest.

The sound blends ’90s hip-hop and R&B aesthetics with interpolating dance elements. Guest rapper Mick Jenkins adds to her dialogue by spitting, “I never thought I would be here / Guess it's Dallas Texas to Lamar Odom / You play your cards and you never fold ‘em, it’s Texas Hold ‘Em.”

“Bad Thing” follows Kiesza’s nostalgic hip-hop infused R&B route.

The song is enhanced with grimy piano, snappy drums and Kiesza’s catchy vocals as well as a memorable hook. “Maybe that’s a bad thing, bad thing / I’mma fiend for that thing, that thing,” Kiesza sings about a toxic relationship.

Guest rapper Joey Badass continues her conversation by rapping, “Now we growing wings, she's the girl of my dreams / I could, give her my last name but that's a bad thing.”

Kiesza sings a stripped down version of Haddaway’s 1993 dance hit “What is Love.” The sound is complimented with light piano and a faint violin highlighting Kiesza’s emotional vocals.

Her cover of “What is Love” acts as a heartfelt nod to her folk roots, adding a new level of feeling to the already mega-popular song.

“The Love” begins with Kiesza’s elated vocals and bursts into a song you’d hear in a crowded 90s club. “This is the love / Something you can feel but you can't define,” Kiesza sings.

The song’s sound is powered by synths, piano chords and EDM influences, and Kiesza intensifies the song by harmonizing with the prime beats, forming a dance anthem.

Taking a note from “The Love,” “Over Myself” starts slowly heightened with a faint organ, then builds into sublime house synths and snaps.

“Tip of your love but I just don't feel it / Got what I want but I just don't need it,” Kiesza sings exultantly about getting herself back after a rough break up.

Sound of a Woman closes with a folk version of “Hideaway.” Kiesza shows her range and recognizes her early beginnings in the music industry.

Complimented with smooth acoustics and celestial vocals, Kiesza takes the summer hit to new heights.

With her songwriting abilities and Afuni’s creative, retro production, Kiesza takes a peek into a relationship’s complexities with Sound of Woman. While the album pays tribute to Kiesza’s early folk influences, Kiesza shows she’s not a one-genre singer with her eclectic sound.

email: arts@ubspectrum.com


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