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Sheya Mission - Nine Signs and Heavy Bliss

Sheya Mission - Nine Signs and Heavy Bliss

Sheya Mission - Nine Signs and Heavy Bliss

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A disc of many secrets and rewards.

Sampler

In recent times several deep, smoky-voiced female singers have brought a cool jazzy sophistication to European roots and culture. In France Mo’Kalamity and her group the Wizards have excited the Parisian scene with two albums and some impressive live shows. Meanwhile in Sweden the mysterious, stately Sheya Mission, produced by Goldheart’s Jonahgold (the man behind Daweh Congo’s 2009 album 'Ghetto Skyline') has released her ambitious debut.

Sheya Mission - Nine Signs and Heavy BlissSheya is unusually guarded about her life and history but this much we know. She visited Jamaica where she received guidance from a Rasta elder and undertook the “mission” that both drives this album and forms half her artist name. Three of the songs, Valley, Reveal Thyself and Never Let Me Down were issued as singles between 1999 and 2006.

Nature and the elements recur in her lyrics as a symbol - “always a symbol” she purrs cryptically during Colors, a swung one drop that vies with a starkly wintry rendition of Gershwin’s Summertime for the most infectious tune on the cd. But the majority of this project isn’t about hooks so much as rhythms, pulses, moods, whispers and feelings. Water is a frequent metaphor: check shimmering first full length track Feels Like Rain; Come Rain which skips by on a loose relative of the Rockfort Rock; or Show Me The River, driven by gentle hand percussion. And there are straight talking moments too: Sheya warns that Expectation “creates disappointment” over a blissful major key skank. She calls herself a "worldreggae songwriter" and there is plenty of stylistic and sonic diversity here. Drum and bass comes to bear on the chorus of the menacing Thanks while allegory Growing has an acoustic dancehall feel.

Her soothing tones are perfectly suited to Jonahgold who works well with singers of smokier timbre. His organic yet deliberately icy productions are so close in spirit to Sheya's poignant husky vocals that it’s hard to know where one ends and the other begins. Another trait to Goldheart works is their 80s alt pop vibe. Likewise, Sheya's delivery, as well as recalling the jazzy sounds of the British lovers rock era or the enigmatic singer Brenda Ray’s work with old Roy Cousins rhythms, adds the Champagne bar class to hippieish roots topics that a Sade brings to soul.

The album is a weighty 20 tracks long and takes its time in getting going. But while this is music for a herbal bath rather than a sound system it’s a disc of many secrets and rewards.

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Posted by Goldus Goldington on 03.23.2011
Album sampler on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhZwjr7GOh0

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