The guys at UK-based Futuristica Music who gave us the brilliant Nathan Thomas and the equally mesmerizing Georgie Sweet albums last year, also released singer Deborah Thomas‘ third album, called “See In The Dark”. It’s been out since a few months but I wanted to share it here because the double vinyl version is now back in stock so please grab a copy as soon as you can.
The unique blend of soul and jazz, with the occasional breakbeat tune in between, combined with her super cool voice and the thick and phat production work, easily make this album an instant winner. There is so much to discover here, small piano snippets during the haunting and pleasing “You Should Know”, or the tender and gentle piano and strings intro on the album opener “Spirit Of The Earth”. I really like the keys throughout. Just one listen to the first bars of “Stay With You”, featuring Oz and LaNote (Carolyn Marks), which already came out in 2019 on a single produced by Mecca:83, and I’m hooked. The song glides along breezily, even with its broken beats, but it manages to take you on a higher level with its hypnotic groove and ambiance.
Weaving in and out, but always generously in charge of the thirteen tracks, Deborah, who has collaborated with people like Jneiro Jarel, Bugz In The Attic, or 4Hero in the past, at times seems to stay oddly neutral in her pitch, like on “Be There (Call My Name)” or “Fear”, but the overall production value on the former and the composition easily make up for anything inconsistent. Plus, I think that’s only a minor imperfection, if at all. Listening to the album again after a few months, it seems that the biggest asset has seemed to shift from the deeply personal lyrics, like on the acoustic “Fear”, to the soulful and contemporary, mostly irresistible grooves. I think the backing vocal arrangements need a nod here, too. On “Horizon”, they seem to enhance the handclap-keys midtempo fancy quiet a bit.
Always great to hear the voice of Nathan Thomas who is helping out on the title track. Some mild hip-hop beats underline the melancholic “Live In Love”, another hauntingly beautiful piece. And what a way to close out the album. The brooding backing vocals and piano and strings on the heavy-hearted ballad “I’ll See You Again” are the perfect background for the intimate lyrics. Which seem to be exactly in the moment and oh so true.