Maurice and Rachel Africh are Still Electric and they released an album entitled Friend. I was reading about their story with the information they provided. Suffice it to say it was one of the few times I came close to tears. Their story is a mix of tender love, triumph and tragedy. I’m not going to go into specifics but I was already hoping to love this album before I heard a note. The music went way beyond what I am hoping for. It’s catchy, fun, and sweet but never saccharine. The music feels relaxed and is not in a rush to get anywhere. There is a mediative aspect to the music where I was just enjoying what was happening and not waiting for the next thing.
This is also a case where I loved both singers almost equally which is very rare. The first song is called “Move On Cue” which is one of my favorite songs I have heard this year and the arguable highlight. It’s a song that is sort of cute but not annoying. I think the Postal Service is a good reference here but they implement some vocals that are sort of rapping. It sounds like it could be disastrous but the way it’s implemented is perfect.
Up next is “Broken” and does Rachel Africh have a nice sounding set of pipes. There is a romantic, jazz like quality to her vocals. The song is so smooth and oh so catchy. I thought the textures were done very well. It’s sort of dark and the horns seems to lurking in the background like ghosts.
That sort of vibe continues with “Ocean” which showcases vocal harmonies. They sound great here and the way they blend the vocals sound sort of androgynous. The band is just getting started and what they do so successfully is to create a signature sound. “Illuminaughty” is a new word and also a great song while “Through Your Eyes” is as close to straight pop as they get.
The horns are a continuing theme as are highlights such as “Happy.” There are some twists and variations but nothing too out of the ordinary as we hear on “Warlords” or “Wait.” “Wicked Women” is a festive and fun song while the closer “Friend” is a hopeful and motivational closer.
This album will appeal to a very wide demographic in my opinion. I’m not sure what’s not to love here. Highly recommended.
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