Eska: Eska

review eska x1 cong

Eska is a session singer and apparently this album has taken five years, presumably working on and off. If you Google her, you find things like “the most talked about, revered singer you’ve never heard of”.
It’s an album to immerse yourself in, and one that doesn’t really lend itself to a 200-word review.
It opens with This Is How A Garden Grows, with slowly caressed double bass and then her soulful, honeyed vocals. It’s an opening song that says: “You can like this or not, I don’t care. I’m starting off slowly, by the way.” It’s a rich, bluesy, soulful song. If you want an image: lying on your back on a sunny day in a small boat, floating down a river looking at the sun through willow trees. It’s a timeless song, infuriatingly reminding us of something, but whether it’s an 80s gem or an album track we heard last year we can’t remember.
The rest of the album stays as relaxed, a very relaxed take on soul, folk, electronica and blues, all dominated by Eska’s voice, which can be a sensual whisper or subtly powerful — it’s the instrument from which she earns a living, after all.
Standouts are She’s In the Flowers, which, played by someone else, could be a standing-on-one-leg folk song about maids a-courting.
The reggae-based Heroes and Villains has a ska-ish bass and shivery keyboard, though it’s not one of the best tunes.
A little gem.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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