Vulnerability is power – Yazmin Lacey is proof of this. She has been coming into her own over the last few years, with intimate soul tracks that shed light on her talents as a vocalist and songwriter. EP’s like When The Sun Dips 90 Degrees set the standard for her textured, densely produced soulful and soothing sound, and her voice is just rich with her spirit, shining on these records as smoothly and sweetly as honey. Her official debut album is titled Voice Notes, and is an incredibly bold, poignant project, creating a cohesive yet varied sound, with her vocals and impressive lyrics and storytelling about inner growth, spirituality and love making the album a memorable listening experience.
From the opening “Flylo Tweet”, referencing a tweet from the legendary producer saying “self-consciousness is the creativity killer”, one of the themes Yazmin Lacey is trying to understand and embrace. Doing music as an artist can challenge your sense of self, or at least the self you want to share with the world, and it can prevent you from truly fulfilling your creative potential. Produced by the likes of Craigie Dodds, JD.REID, Melo-Zed and Dave Okumu, the album is varied in sound, but well sequenced and with an effortless flow. The playful groove on “Late Night People” is one of the early favourites on the album for me, with subtle synths and a beat that add to her smooth vocals. The Sade-inspired “Fool’s Gold” is another stellar track, with an incredible bassline carrying the groove of the track, and the subtle guitar leads and beat that provide warmth to the track. “Where Did You Go?” sees her remove herself from the noise, with introspections on her own mental health and life in general making her look inward and heal. The sensuality of “Pass it Back” is incredible, as her lavish, beautiful and almost husky voice creates a warm, beautiful and soothing sound that is overwhelming with its piano keys, guitar and bass leads that just groove throughout. The dub-influenced “Tomorrow’s Child” is also incredible, while the more dynamic “Match in my Pocket” has a sense of urgency to it and is another poignant moment on the album, while the closer “Sea Glass” is a soothing, reflective, guitar-driven masterpiece, with Yazmin’s vocals serenading us one final time.
Throughout the 14-tracks on her debut album, Yazmin Lacey has shown why she’s one of the most exciting neo-soul artists making music today. Her vulnerabilities and her honesty about who she is and what kind of person she wants to be is super relatable, and combined with the incredibly lush and rich production, makes Voice Notes one of the most complete soul albums to come out this year.
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