You Kill Slowly by Ngoni is a fantastic EP, influenced by spy music of the 1960s with some R&B and soul thrown in as well. Ngoni is an amazing vocalist and delivers each song with an appropriate amount of emotion and intrigue. The lyrics are clever, the melodies catchy and the production is incredible.
“Mountains” opens with minor piano chords, a swirling glockenspiel and string section before it opens up into a 1960s spy-theme-like song complete with saxophone hits and wandering flute. The production is impeccable balancing the sax breaks with the vocal and string hits while still finding the drive of the piano and drums pushing the song along without ever overpowering. It could almost be a sequel to Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good.” “My Only Redemption” mixes a hi-hat splashed drum sample with the horn section and pounding piano chords from something the Soulquarians might have been fooling around with. The use of Ngoni’s low end of his voice shows great contrast to his range and adds sincerity to the lyrics.
The title track “You Kill Slowly” could be a lost Roberta Flack song played over a montage of a spy-thriller. The chromatic movements in the strings nod towards John Barry and the bluesy guitar countermelodies weave in and out of Ngoni’s voice adding interest but never stealing it away.
“Perfect Love” is the most modern sounding in genre, incorporating reverse cymbals, synthesizers and horn hits. The lyrics are Prince-esque when he’s in the mood to seduce and are highlighted by the pounding eighth notes of the keyboards and distorted guitar. The square wave countermelody fits into the spectrum well and has a nice call-and-response with the backing vocals.
“Lost” is based around a John Lennon-styled keyboard pattern, drum machines, cellos, glockenspiels, synths and marching drums. Along with the Lennon influence, there’s a McCartney-esque story-like aspect to the bridge and the way it fits in with the rest of the track. The spy/noir elements filter through the choral backing vocals and minor chords. “How Quickly Lights Can Fade” is a 12/8 minor ballad and has almost every line echoed by a female vocalist. This seems to be the only misstep on the album. While her voice is very good and blends well, the repetition of each line seems can get a bit monotonous and until the end where there is some variation, doesn’t add as much as it could. Still, the piano solo in the middle is very inspired and the melody is catchy.
The EP is stellar, a great blend of John Barry, Nina Simone, John Legend and Jill Scott. The musical backdrops serve the vocal and lyrics well, the performances and production very well executed, and the songs very catchy and smart.
Become A Fan
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook