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Yola – Walk Through Fire

November 17, 2019

I first became aware of Yola when I heard her sing a verse on The Highwomen’s song “Highwomen.” It was an arresting vocal. I immediately went to the credits and saw the name: Yola. I never heard of her and I moved on. Recently, she was featured on the podcast Broken Record. The hook was that she is a black British woman who sings country music. The interview was fascinating;  Yola and a couple of her bandmates played a few songs off of her album from earlier this year. The fact that the album was produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach fully motivated me to check out the album. Auerbach’s The Black Keys bandmate, Patrick Carney, produced one of my favorite albums from 2019: Jessy Wilson’s Phase.

The album is country-ish, but it is also soulful. It has a retro sound, but not the tired retro-soul sound that has been played to death over the last decade. It is more of a country-pop sound from the 60s. Think Patsy Cline from the past or a southern fried Adele from today. The best connection might be Mavis Staples who always seems comfortable with a bit of country in her soul music.

I love the combination of Yola’s soulful voice with country arrangements/instrumentation. It sounds original, yet. familiar. I love Auerbach’s production – it serves the artist and not him.

From → Music Reviews

One Comment
  1. I’m going to bracket some time and give this a go.

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