Imagine sifting through French wave cinema soundtracks adding a little dose of latin magical realism and dropping yourself into the sun kissed LA soundscapes of Kadhja Bonet and you’ll be getting an introduction to her 8 track debut mini-album ‘The Visitor’.
Sweetly effervescent, Kadhja (pronounced “kod-ya”) has a voice that distills through so many decades and genres, and floats up timelessly into our current season of musical obsessions, all while creating something entirely out of place and time. Imagine ‘The Visitor’ as the flip side to Childish Gambino’s ‘Awaken, My Love!’, and then cue it up after you’ve listened to Kamasi Washington’s The Epic and you’ll find yourself in an opus of incomparable sound.
It’s a strangely blissful wonderland of familiar strings and woodwind instruments, with hints of jazz, classical, soul and folk yet somehow all blended together with honey dripped vocals. It’s no surprise then that Bonet has many strings to her bow, with formal classical training in violin, viola, flute and guitar, which she brings together masterfully into every composition of ‘The Visitor’. Written and arranged and performed by Bonet, both vocally and on a number of live instruments, ‘The Visitor’ also includes co-collaborators with musicians Te’amir Yohannes Sweeney on drums, and Low Leaf, Peter Dyer, Randal Fisher, and Itai Shapira on harp, synth, flute, and bass.
Kadhja Bonet herself remains an enigma, and right now she’s content to let her music take you places. Without a clear destination in mind, you’ll be visualising early morning mists surrounding ‘Earth Bird’, the spring flutters of ‘Honeycomb’, or entering a magnetically ethereal world as ‘The Visitor’. Be warned, track by track, slowly by slowly, the dreamlike trance of this hypnotic voice might have you wishing for a digital detox transported away from this time, but at some point you’ll have to come back to exactly where you are – here. Will the novelty of Kadhja’s sound last? Only time will tell.
There is something almost unreal about Kadhja Bonet which begs an excursion to see her in the real world, even if out of sheer curiosity to see ‘The Visitor’ come to life. So visit her debut performance in London in early spring next year, as part of her European tour at The Courtyard Theatre on the 7th of March. Tickets are on sale now.