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Review: Rikalet – 'Mother Tongue'

| EP

Mother Tongue, the new offering from Rikalet is decadent and intriguing.

By Daniel Lückhoff-Wessels

Published Wednesday, 14 August 2019 13:26

For her new EP Mother Tongue, Rikalet went into the studio with nine other musicians, including Mr Cat & The Jackal’s Gert Besselson and Jaques de Plessis as well as Ottoman Slap’s Calan Wolff, and brought five songs to life that dabble in a wide range of genres.

The overall sound is jazz-based but there are hints of everything from folk to reggae. The title track opens proceedings and immediately whisks you off to a Parisian café with its jazz-lounge sound. With a steady back-beat keeping things tight Rikalet’s silky smooth voice floats on top of the syncopated rhythm guitar while the surf-rock tinged lead guitar brings a welcome bite to the song.

Goodbye Mr Jones brings a reggae beat that’s given a melancholic edge by a lone mournful trumpet that glides over the rest of the band, enhancing the feelings conveyed in this heartfelt break-up song.

As good as You Got A Hold On Me is, it doesn’t quite match up to any of the other songs. The synchronicity that comes before and after takes a bit of a dip in this number, ever so slightly loosening the connection that’s been steadily building up.

But not to worry, because that connection is fully restored by Devilspeak. This humanising re-telling of the legend of Van Hunk’s and the Devil gives the age-old a new angle, creating a murky world of drama and intrigue with just a hint of menace.

Whiskey&Honey lazily and slightly drunkenly brings a fitting end to the party. There’s a sense of improvisation in the intro as the piano and trumpet casually move around each other. There’s a point where the mood, rather fittingly, becomes more upbeat and, other than a little dip here and there, lasts until the end before it calmly comes to rest.

Mother Tongue is diverse in its sound and almost perfect in its quality and proves that ten heads are indeed better than one.

Updated on:
>> Monday, 03 October 2022 20:39

Singer-songwriter, Rikalet

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About Rikalet

Rikalet is a Paarl-born South African composer, contralto singer-songwriter, pianist and lyricist, currently residing in Port Elizabeth.


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