Let's All Swoon Now Together 1...2...3...
Name: Laura Mvula
Where She’s From: Birmingham, United Kingdom
When She Started: 2012
Genre: Baroque Soul (Disclaimer: I just made that up)
Most Similar: Adele
Sounds Like: The Fleet Foxes and Nina Simone had a secret, synthesizer-playing love-child.
For the majority of her song “She,” singer and composer Laura Mvula doesn’t have a whole lot going on. There’s a flighty synthesizer, twinkling here and there like fireflies. Then, for a moment, a dense chord from a chorus of singers. And up-close and personal, Mvula’s big voice right up in your brain, channeling some serious Nina Simone, her soulful inflections contrasting richly with the demure, almost-barren sonic backdrop.
It’s the kind of song that sticks with you, striking in how different it is from just about everything else. A song that moves at its own, pensive pace, almost as if slowing down time itself for its duration.
The UK has no shortage of talented lady singers – for every Amy or Adele, it seems a dozen more fantastic young artists are waiting in the wings. Nonetheless, it looks like Laura Mvula might seriously have a shot at something big. The 26-year-old classical conservatory graduate from Birmingham has become the recipient of a lot of buzz, generating enthusiastic posts from places like Pitchfork, Fader, and The Guardian with each leak off her debut EP (just out earlier this week).
And it’s not just the cool-kid press that’s seeing something special. Mvula has already inked a deal with RCA and is hard at work recording an album in New York’s famed Electric Lady studios, with Adele producer Tom Elmhirst behind the board.
Meanwhile, as we await Mvula’s glorious phoenix-like ascent, check out the brand-spankin’-new video for “She,” shot in South Africa, below. And for something extra special, there’s this stripped-down live performance video from HUNGER TV, which got me personally hooked in the first place.