Wow, what an album. I loved it. This young singer from Botswana really is someone I’ll keep an eye on. There is a bit of everything: jazz, pop, soul, a few electronics here and there, the odd rap bits, some experimental stuff, but it’s all so coherent, so part of a whole. Half sung in her native language, half in English, there’s a bit of Alicia Keys and Oumaru Sangare, but yet there’s something new, fresh, and very polished (the album is very well produced). The acapella opening is gorgeous, and even the opposite spectrum — tracks such as Mind Fuck — retain a strange beauty.

Why isn’t she more famous? There’s barely anything about her online, barely any reviews of this album — and it is accessible. This could be number 1 easily. Please listen to her, you’ll agree.

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Benin! I felt tempted to pick an album from Angélique Kidjo, who I love and I’ve seen live — Barbican, around 2011, she was amazing — but I didn’t, although she is featured in one of the tracks.

This album has even been reviewed by Pitchfork Media (https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/15232-cotonou-club/) and it is of course a far better review than anything I could write. So go and read that and listen to the album, it is worth it.

This band has the same energy that Kidjo has — you can just imagine them playing live and seeing that they love what they do. It’s a very accessible album too, even without understanding the lyrics. Just play it in the morning whilst you prepare your breakfast and it’ll set you up to have a great day.

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This is the last album of Andy Palacio, released a year before his death at the age of 47. I had never heard of him, but it seems he’s the most famous musician to ever come from Belize. He was its culture ambassador and was named a UNESCO Artist for Peace.

I really liked it. It sounds very well produced, maybe slightly too polished, but that makes it accessible and pleasant to first-time listeners. The songs are different enough between them whilst fitting well together as a whole. Like with other albums I’ve listened to during this project, it would have been amazing to see them perform live.

And… after two years of very limited travel due to the pandemic, this music is perfect to imagine yourself somewhere far away, in the sun, having a drink… (sigh).

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