Malka - Marching to Another Beat
We reckon this is Tamara Schlesinger's fourth reinvention - let's not count the international gymnastics career - but yet again she manages to strike gold, this time as MALKA. Ditching some of the more obviously folk aspects of her previous work, Marching to Another Beat is a near-perfect example of an artist who is confident in their abilities and looking to push forward and experiment.
As with her work with 6 Day Riot there is a strong drive behind the vocals that is this time underpinned with much more organic instrumentals. Despite the back-to-basics use of every day objects as instruments, delving deeper reveals hugely complex arrangements that pull together to create something that has no right to be cohesive but really is. Tribal drums coupled with excellent use of space on 'Eyes on the Prize' somehow manages to be both intimate and immersive in one hit. Astounding stuff. From there to the ethereal 'My Body (Takin' Over)' should be a jolt too much but it works in ways that its hard to describe. The driving percussion of drops back to the warmth of Shlesinger's voice almost like falling into a pillow and then seconds later the beat returns and you feel you're being prepared for what comes next. The whole album is like this - natural waves of complementary sound that can't help but bring a smile to your face.