In a musical world which seems increasingly about bombast and brashness, throwaway gimmicks and quick hits, past plagiarism and plundering or pointless sub-genres, Linda Debella is a breath of fresh air. Her simple yet sublime approach is nothing more complex or overthought than to keep accessible soul music alive, something she does perfectly on her latest album Bend To The Light.
Call it neo-soul. Call it soul-pop. Call it anything you like. The message is simple. Take timeless, often ambient, beautifully understated, soul sounds and update them for the modern audience. If there is a past reference point, then it is perhaps Nora Jones before she took the more countrified path. But that would also be to overlook the singular sound Linda Debella offers, so consider it a general signpost rather than something to dwell on for too long.
Walk a Mile is a lilting and lovely creation, one shot through with just the right amount of bluesy guitar work and hazy harmonies; Burn After Reading is dreamlike and drifting, and Bliss is perfectly titled. I love Slow Seduction because it seems to waltz across an empty ballroom, at once beautiful and reflective. Skywriting takes the album over the finishing line and is suitably resolving and romantic.
Some music makes its point by being big, clever, or loud and impactful. Here, Linda Debello makes deft and delicate music rather than big. It is wise, worldly and relatable rather than clever. Hushed and harmonious as opposed to loud. And impactful, yes, but it does so through understatement and beautiful execution.
Why don’t more people try to do that?
Buy the CD at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Bend-Light-Linda-Debella/dp/B0B9S643VT/
Stream the album here : https://lnk.to/BendtotheLight