Suckers for synths will be utterly hooked on Laura Mvula’s latest album, ‘Pink Noise’. A crafty blend of delectable ‘80s synths and modern-era pop has crocheted this offering together, so it’s riotously catchy in all places.
‘Safe Passage’ — as its name suggests it would — guides us into the album gently. It was the first single ahead of the main release and still hits the spot, as do ‘Church Girl’ and the Michael Jackson-esque ‘Got Me’. Both just ooze style and glamour with their funk and disco blueprints.
But I don’t know whether it’s because I’m a rock fan that ‘What Matters’ (feat. Simon Neil)’ particularly slaps. It’s not the collaboration any of us were expecting, but the Biffy Clyro frontman is actually a fun and well-inserted addition here. It’s a far cry from his input with While She Sleeps, naturally, but he does somehow boost the coolness of this album.
It was around this time in 2018 that I saw Mvula at a gig. It was a seated situation, which doesn’t seem so bizarre now, but it was different to my usual back then. And while on the subject of differences, a lot of the songs here are just that. She’s certainly harnessing the golden oldies vibes — and they’re going down swimmingly.
Thudding electronic beats command ‘Conditional’, a groovy belter that bridges the gap between decades ago and now, very well. It’s also perhaps the most similar to her previous releases. The hooks and drums of ‘Remedy’ will have you up off your seat in milliseconds, while ‘Magical’ is atmospheric but very throwback sounding. The darker, more mystifying keys on ‘Before The Dawn’ wrap up this collection of ten terrific bops really nicely.
Mvula’s come at us with a set of ten drag-me-to-the-dancefloor tunes here. Wowzers.
If you only download one track, let it be: ‘What Matters (feat. Simon Neil)’