This latest EP from Lyia Meta is forged from that iconic triptych of sensational sounds – soul, R&B and funk – leaning into one or another to create some of the most confidently delivered songs that you will have heard in a long time. The first thing that hits you is Lyia’s striking voice; deep, smokey and honey-toned, the sound of a classic soul diva for the modern age. Not that the music is any slouch, it’s just that with a voice like hers, there is a lot to compete with.

The EP kicks off with Uptown Tonight, a sassy celebration of getting out on the town, glammed up and looking for a good time. Horns and a funky shuffle beat provide the momentum and it this opening salvo is the perfect introduction to this cool 5-track slice.

You Think About Me The Way I Think About You, is the sort of song that you could imagine the likes of Aretha Franklin making her own, a graceful and gorgeous soul outing, perfectly crafted and expertly delivered, swelling Hammonds and breezy brass adding that expert touch of authenticity around the edges.

A Real Man Can provides a well-timed change of pace. Understated and alluring, again an exquisite taste of older traditions polished and produced for a modern audience and things round off with You Always Come Home To Me which brings back the groove in no uncertain terms, a song that gives Otis Reading’s iconic Hard To Handle a run for its money, sitting in the same musical space yet lyrically worlds apart.

The word that I keep coming back to is confidence. You Think About Me is built on it but then if you are going to explore that golden triangle of funk, soul and rhythm and blues, there is no point doing so in half measures and in that department, Lyia Meta proves to be nothing but the full-on, unreserved, real deal.

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