The opening track, a mischievously titled Outro, gives us immediate insight into Emilie Nicolas’ vocal prestige. All sultry soul vibes and cool detachment, it is what she melds those gorgeous tones onto, musically speaking, which creates the massive appeal of the album. Most people would be happy to sit on their laurels and use such a voice to explore traditional soul territory or, perhaps, create pop-fusions, Emilie, however, follows a more musically adventurous path.
Emilie, however, follows a more musically adventurous path
It is a path which is infused with seductive dance grooves but is at its most beguiling, most unique when it is deftly weaving less obvious sonics; everything from Afro-beat rhythms to ambient indie finesse – through its alternative and alluring soundscapes. And although terms such as dance and particularly Afro-beat suggest a certain familiarity of sound, it is her ability to take only the essence of what makes those styles work and bend them to her own will which is the real charm. To this end it dances with the utmost delicacy, its tribal inspirations are subtle and supplely applied, its soul is subdued and sensitive… it is all of these things and something else altogether.
It isn’t as if Emilie Nicolas is creating new musical sub-genres here. There is nothing so calculated or crass at work; instead, the grace of her music comes from her ability to walk a sonic path less travelled, one which skirts around the edges of many genres, sampling a taste of each… from soul to dance, pop to indie, and never committing to any.
Songs such as Tsunami chime with exotic beats and bass pulses whilst the vocals soar above ethereal indie realms…often French ones at that… Open is a sultry and sparse soul-ballad made over for the modern age, graceful and gorgeous, and To The Moon is a piece shuffling, shimmering, skittering dance floor excellence, somehow instantly addictive whilst being the product of some really outside the box thinking.
Let Her Breathe is the sound of its creator exploring beyond her initial ‘cool pop’ label, way beyond. It is a more open, more honest sonic canvas, one which defies any real pigeon-hole, which skirts so many familiar sounds and uses them to create something truly new, truly unique. It is from just such an approach that classic albums are made. Get back to me in ten years and tell me I’m wrong!
Released June 2020
It is a more open, more honest sonic canvas, one which defies any real pigeon-hole, which skirts so many familiar sounds and uses them to create something truly new, truly unique. It is from just such an approach that classic albums are made.