Sing to the moon is the debut album from 26 year old classically trained brummie Laura Mvula. It follows the release of her EP from November 2012, and more recently, the single Green Garden – a tribute to her home Kings Heath – which was released in February of this year.
Mvula was shortlisted for the BRITs 2013 Critics’ Choice award, as well as being cited as one of those on the BBC Sound of 2013 list. In addition to this, she’s been invited to join Jessie Ware on her tour in March and Paloma Faith on her tour in June. She’s also been booked for a slot at V festival in the summer and is embarking on her own first regional headline tour in April and May – not bad for a girl who started writing songs on her laptop while working as a supply teacher at a secondary school.
All of this bodes well, but lets forget about the hype from the critics for now and concentrate on what really matters – the sound of the album. The album has been produced by Steve Brown, who has also worked with Rumer, and the similarities are easy to see at points in the album. Can’t Live With The World and Is There Anybody Out There are classical and dreamy, but a little nursery rhyme-like – a theme that is quite popular on a number of tracks on Sing to the Moon. The lead single Green Garden picks up the pace and the soul of the album, but is close to being ruined by the computerised, vocoder harmonies which eventually become a little off-putting. That’s Alright and Flying Without You are highlights of the album, providing attitude and a change from what feels like a continual, meandering tempo.
The album will no doubt do well and will fill a gap in the market for some. There is no doubting what a voice she has, but personally I would have liked to hear Mvula’s voice in the different, darker, more dramatic settings of trip-hop/downbeat electronica or similar, which would make the best of her voice in my opinion. It almost feels wasted on a number of tracks, which feel very light, giving the definite feeling that there is something missing from this album, which is a shame given how impressive her voice is.