Laura Mvula – Live @ Brecon Jazz 2014
aaamusic | On 21, Aug 2014
Saturday 9th August, Wales
British soul singer songwriter Laura Mvula, classically trained at the Birmingham Conservatoire, blends jazz and gospel in a creative and contemporary way. Her debut album Singing To The Moon was released in 2013, the year she won awards for Best Female Act and Best R&B or Soul Artist at the MOBO Awards. Her influences are Jill Scott, Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu.
At this Market Hall performance her soft, rich and strong vocals covered multiple topics of love, faith, beauty and heartache. Her playful and polished six piece band included her sister, Dionne (violin) and brother James (cello).
The warm and rhythmical ‘Let Me Fall’ shone brightly whilst ‘She’, about her Mum, was serene and intimate with gentle orchestration and good harmony. ‘Sing To The Moon’ was touching and melodic, contrasting with the weird and pulsating ‘Is There Anybody Out There’, a bit of an unpredictable oddity. ‘See Line Woman’, her tribute to the Nina Simone song, was as joyful, lively and exciting as her recent appearance on Jools Holland.
Criticisms of Laura Mvula include unnecessary repetition, material which is too melancholic and percussion that smothers vocals that would otherwise be clear. But she is much loved by fans as the creator of bold, striking and original songs. These are often diverse, sometimes retrospective, occasionally idiosyncratic, but frequently praised and adored.