I don’t know Mvula’s music (I know her because her name is unmistakable and I feel surprised that her debut came out only 4 years ago). The blurb talks about her big powerhouse soulful pop. But that is not in evidence here at all. As they say:
with the help of a small string section, she forgoes some of her flashier songs (“Like the Morning Dew,” “Green Garden”) in favor of Sing to the Moon‘s most brooding ballads.
“Father, Father” is almost entirely her singing and playing a very spare keyboard–with just a few seconds of string help near the end. Her voice is quite lovely in what is practically an a cappella setting.
She introduces the second song by saying: “If we had the bigger band we’d do the more upbeat things. I usually write in six-part harmony. But it’s just the three of us so I’m going to do another more intimate one called ‘Diamonds.'” There’s more strings on this song, which add to the song (the keyboard is quite thin, I fear).
The set ends with “She,” a song with a bit more complex keyboard parts which I rather like. This song is my favorite, probably because it sounds the fullest.
The whole set is a little too mellow for my tastes, but I am curious to hear what her big poppy six-part-harmony songs sound like!
[READ: April 21, 2016] The Right Here Right Now Thing
I found this graphic novel at work. What was so funny about it is that the title is in English but the publisher is German. I flipped through the book and saw the English dialogue so I decided to read it. Imagine my surprise then that the first few and the last few pages are in German!
Google Translate is a good thing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do as well with idiom and vulgar phrases, and there are a few in this book. But I got the gist.
Plus, quite a lot of it is wordless, too.
The story begins with hands putting drugs (I assume cocaine and pot from later sections) into a condom. And then we see our heroine on the toilet…doing something. Her plane ticket says Frankfurt-Krakau. She says goodbye to the guy lying in bed and she heads to the airport.
She lands in Krakow (a beautiful depiction of the square) and meets her German friends. They ask how she’s been and if she misses the place. She says yes, the rugged beauty of the men and the city. It’s a reunion party with beer and the smuggled coke.
They go out dancing and then to a bar where they meet some Americans (they look more American than, say, British). The one guy starts talking about his spiritual quest. Then she notices the other guy who sat beside her. He’s wearing a hoodie and his face is totally obscured. I really liked the way the first thing he says (while he looks a bit like death) is a toast to the end of everything.
She hits it off with hoodie guy. Some other guy comes up and is fairly aggressive to her, but the first guy, Bruce, defends her. They go out to another club and that’s when she learns that the hoodie guy is flying to Sweden in 3 hours.
And that’s where the title comes from “Lets appreciate the ‘right here, right now thing.” She gives a little discourse on how cool comics are and then they settle into her Polish host’s house.
My favorite page includes this interaction:
Where did you go that weed from?
Germany. I smuggled it in my vagina [shocked looks].
Relax, I packed it properly before I stuck in it in there.”
And the hostess: “Yep, doesn’t taste like vagina.”
I also got a kick out of this page in which one person says: “In German there’s this phrase ‘Polish departure’ which means that someone leaves without saying goodbye.” And she replies: “We have something similar. When two people spend the whole night together and one of them leaves immediately after sex we call it an English Goodbye.”
But before anybody leaves, there’s the possibility that the narrator and hoodie man might get some “alone time” after all.
In the morning she returns to her German friends’ place (which looks like a hostel or a dorm). She talks with her friend about what happened and her relationship back home.
The German ending was hard to translate the details of, but I got the idea and rather liked it-especially the “tangy pickle of the hamburger of life.”