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Skye - Mind How You Go

Skye, Mind How You Go

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

IT’S been a while in coming but former Morcheeba singer Skye now releases her debut solo album and it’s been worth the wait!

Mind How You Go is a beautiful album that marks a welcome return for Skye’s silky smooth vocals, while also showcasing a different side to the artist as well.

Having been a key part of the Morcheeba line-up, Skye’s breathtaking vocals provided a perfect accompaniment to their blend of trip-hop and chillout.

Yet following the release of their fourth album, Charango, the other members started talking about a sabbatical, leaving Skye to ponder what she should do.

As others started work on their own projects, the singer realised that she would never have a better opportunity to move in a new direction and so set about doing so.

“I don’t want anyone thinking I abandoned the band because I didn’t. But we all came to realise it was time for a change,” she explains.

However, having made the decision to become the author of her own destiny, Skye was immediately confronted with another challenge – writing songs for herself.

“In Morcheeba, I had an input but Paul was the lyricist. It was always understood that my role was to join up Paul’s words with Ross’s tunes through melody.”

It probably won’t surprise many readers to find that moments of Mind How You Go could easily be the work of Morcheeba – yet while that influence undoubtedly plays a big part, the album pursues other directions.

For Morcheeba purists pining a return of their beloved vocalist, however, there’s the former single and album opener Love Show to enchant them.

While the track Powerful harks back to the emotive string accompaniments that made songs like The Sea so special.

But on the whole, the beats – when there – are much more subtle. Rather, the emphasis is on Skye’s beguiling vocals.

Say Amen, for instance, is a wonderfully stripped down offering that’s almost hymnal – the instrumentation coming in the form of tender acoustic guitar licks and an orchestral echo generated by Skye’s own voice.

It’s an enchanting listen that eases you into a peaceful state of mind, soothing you like some form of musical massage.

Likewise final track Jamaica Days, which offers more intricate vocal layering – the soulful background hinting at America’s Deep South and gospel as Skye sings beautifully over the top.

With such mesmerising vocals to contend with, less is most definitely more and the artist never allows her biggest asset to become drowned out by any over-production or instrumental highs.

Both Say Amen and Jamaica Days are songs of shiver down the spine quality and the most marked departure from the signature sound of her Morcheeba days.

Elsewhere, Stop Complaining offers another moving portrait of a troubled mind in need of reassurance. Beginning with a sombre piano chord, the song eventually gives way to a subtle, yet almost drum ‘n’ bass-style beat that lends it an energy you might not have been anticipating from the outset.

Lyrically, it’s poignant and uplifting – a beautiful love song that succeeds in putting a smile on the face.

Solitary, meanwhile, drops more enchanting melodies around thought-provoking lyrics. And No Other includes some string arrangements that hint at a cinematic backdrop to Skye’s words.

The stripped down What’s Wrong With Me, on the other hand, offers up some profound lyrics and a really edgy backdrop that marks yet another change of direction and pace.

Skye describes the album as deeply personal and virtually a portrait of herself – hence, if she seduced you as part of the Morcheeba line-up, you’ll be utterly smitten by the time you reach the end of this.

Track listing:

  1. Love Show
  2. Stop Complaining
  3. Solitary
  4. Calling
  5. What’s Wrong With Me
  6. No Other
  7. Tell Me About Your Day
  8. All The Promises
  9. Powerful
  10. Say Amen
  11. Jamaica Days