With a voice that has stopped critics in their tracks, Lady Blackbird (aka Marley Munroe) is a revelatory talent with music that transcends the jazz scene through which the LA-based artist is rooted. Reflecting influences as varied as Billie Holiday, Gladys Knight, Tina Turner and Chaka Khan, with critics drawing comparisons to Adele, Amy and Celeste, Lady Blackbird's distinct and beguiling talent is not one to be missed.
Honoring the greats has come as a musical process to Lady Blackbird, having recorded her highly anticipated 2021 debut album Black Acid Soul in legendary Studio B (Prince's room) in Sunset Sound, produced by Grammy-nominated Chris Seefried.
Minimal yet rich, classic yet timely, the album connects backwards to Miles Davis (his pianist, Deron Johnson, plays Steinway Baby Grand, Mellotron and Casio Synth throughout) and forwards to Pete Tong (he made the Bruise mix of "Collage" his Number Two Essential Selection tune of 2020) and, yes, Victoria Beckham - Matthew Herbert's remix of second single "Beware The Stranger" soundtracked the designer's Spring/Summer 2020 Fashion show.
Its 11 tracks have a sound, feeling and attitude that speak of Lady Blackbird's deep experiences in music.
Are you ready to fly with Lady Blackbird?
...when, on 'Fix It,' Blackbird adds lyrics to Bill Evans' 'Piece Peace,' you hear a through line between two artists who, while using light brushstrokes and exercising restraint, can really level you.
This is heady, haunting, sexy, soulful, heartbreaking stuff. With a voice that suggests a cross between Mahalia Jackson and Nina Simone, Lady Blackbird tears your heart apart and puts it back together again... We'll be talking about this debut for many years to come.
Black Acid Soul is a potent record that, without sounding self-consciously retro, harks back to an era before AutoTune and Pro Tools.
The real jaw-dropper is a dramatic reworking of Joe Walsh's 1969 psych-rock opus 'Collage.' If you know the original which appeared on the first LP by Walsh's original band The James Gang you'll be a bit gobsmacked by this wistful moody reinvention.
It is not just that Munroe has a powerful vocal, or that she can convey great, centuries-old pain and struggle, but that she can eke out nuance from every turn of phrase; it is often possible to read her delivery of a single word in multiple ways, she layers such meaning into her performance. Munroe realises that there is more to be said by someone who can tear the house down with ease, when they choose not to.
Munroe finds a spellbinding balance between acoustic jazz and live small group soul ... there's an immediacy and warmth to the album that feels all her own.
- Deluxe Edition
- Double LP
- LP1: Original Album
- LP2: Bonus Tracks & Remixes
- Gatefold Sleeve with Spot Gloss
- Manufactured in the Republic of Ireland
|Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews
|electric guitar, acoustic guitar
|Steinway baby grand, mellotron, Casio synth
- It's Not That Easy
- Fix It
- Ruler Of My Heart
- Nobody's Sweetheart
- Five Feet Tall
- Lost And Looking
- It'll Never Happen Again
- Beware The Stranger
- Black Acid Soul
- Did Somebody Make a Fool Out of You
- I Am What I Am
- Feel It Comin
- Baby I Just Don't
- Beware the Stranger (Chris Seefried Remix)
- Collage (Greg Foat Remix)
- Blackbird (Emma-Jean Thackray Remix)
- Lost and Looking (Colleen 'Cosmo' Murphy Cosmodelica Remix)
- Collage (Bruise Remix)