You know those moments when you’re sat idly watching the telly, there’s nothing on but you keep watching anyway because the evening that is spiralling out in front of you is that boring. Suddenly the adverts come on and you hear the first bars and the opening lines of an unfamiliar song that suddenly makes you sit up and take notice. Before you know it the moment has passed and the advert is gone and you find yourself thinking…
…I really hope the rest of that song lives up to its opening salvo.
Well those of you who have seen Apple’s new advertising campaign for its skinny (pointless?) laptop will be aware of the song I’m talking about. New Soul by Yael Naim & David Donatien is a little treasure to be found in a chart populated mainly by cretinous wannabes and wasted wastrels. This is a pleasing remission, the innocence in the song has a real air of the genuine about it, a simple well lit vocal that sits comfortably in a gentle idyllic acoustic background. Absolutely lovely.
There’s more to come as well, Yael has an album out on March 31st. While the single is very pleasing it doesn’t necessarily tell you much about the singer behind it. This balance is redressed with her eponymous release.
Yael’s heritage plays a big part in her musical existence. Her material across this release is performed in French, English and Hebrew. It’s an incredibly pure collection, vocally Naim soars effortlessly (Lonely, Far Far) through her tracks and an unfamiliarity with the language on some of the album becomes largely irrelevant such is her tonal quality. Credence must be given to David Donatien for his arrangements. He displays an incredible lightness of touch that compliments Naim’s voice. If you want further evidence just check the most unlikely of cover versions, Britney Spear’s Toxic was if you recall a sassy slab of pop that was one of her finest moments before she became a full time mental. On Naim’s album, she treads carefully around the vocal, taking advantage of the spaces and silences that Donatien allows. It’s all very classy.
As a whole, a wonderful little listening experience from a singer who crams as much breadth and depth into her performances as some do in three albums. A definite recommend.