Best music albums – My pick of the season
Charis Le Riche - Mar 5th, 20:09
Tailor – Dark Horse
Dark Horse is what happens when you pair a strong singer with powerful melodies.
The Pretoria-born singer-songwriter has been performing since the age of 12 and started the band Mel-funktion at age 15. She was then Melanie Le Roux. In 2007 Melanie moved to Cape Town and became Tailor.
Dark Horse is her debut album. It’s astounding to hear that half the songs for this album were written in a day. Tailor, who currently has one of the most powerful voices in South Africa, really shows off her range of vocals, going from a whisper to a scream effortlessly. The opening track perfectly introduces us to the album. She plays with genres like county, blues, folk and jazz, zigzagging between them like she owns them. The songs are dark, eerie and beautiful – take your time and listen to the lyrics, they show us her more dramatic side. A must for anyone who appreciates soulful female artists like Alanis Morissette, Patti Smith, and Tori Amos.
Favourite track: “Why Don’t You Love Me”
Straatligkinders – Konings met Verskonings
Straatligkinders are back and better than ever.
Straatligkinders formed in 2006 in Potchefstroom. After four years of nearly non-stop touring, the Afrikaans rock outfit took a break in 2010 to focus on each member’s individual projects. After two years, Ruan Kruger on drums, Hein Kruger on bass, Bennie de Jager on guitar and Bouwer Bosch on vocals and guitar are back with their fourth studio album Konings met Verskonings.
It hails a more experimental sound than we’ve seen from them in the past. They brought together all the influences they were working with during their hiatus. Instead of the multiple genres clashing, they’ve managed to come together smoothly and harmoniously with ballads as well as some harder songs and even some pop-electro.
And it works. A special mention in this smorgasbord of genres must be made of drummer Ruan Kruger, who shines through especially in “Mooier as Gedigte” and “Sketse”.
Favourite track: “Tweedehandse Engele@
Spoek Mathambo – Future Sound of Mzansi
This could easily be the best dance album to come out of South Africa.
Nthato Mokgata (a.k.a. Spoek Mathambo) has become a legend in the South African music scene. The Johannesburg-born producer-singer started rapping at the age of 10, then heavily influenced by the ’90s American scene, and Jo’burg rap music coming from YFM radio show The Rap Activity Jam. He rose to fame after his move to Cape Town through his collaboration with already-prominent DJ Sibot. In 2010 he released his debut album Mshini Wam on BBE Records which coined the genre “township tech”.
The album is a fusion of hip-hop, jazz, house, Afro-pop and dubstep sounds all mangled together, creating a mish-mash which can only be described as cutting edge. His sound has grown so much since Mshini Wam, which was eons before its time even then. This could easily be the best dance album to come out of South Africa to date, but sadly I doubt this experimental sound will see much airplay on the radio. He’s on the rise and if this is a sign of things to come, I can’t wait for the future.
Favourite track: Round The World – Spoek Mathambo feat Sibot