Those with even the surliest of palettes would struggle to deny their inner-Jilly Goolden on listening to the smooth serenades of Kadhja Bonet: delicate traces of violets, a gentle waft of scented candles and an aroma of marzipan resonate from this soul-folk debut. Although operating on the outskirts of the LA jazz community, she shares the traditional craftsmanship of that thriving scene: mining pastoral British folk of the 1960s and the blossoming symphonic soul of 70s Minnie Riperton. (As a child, Bonet first learned the violin, jacked it in, then started and subsequently left film school before learning the flute and other instruments.) Her lyrics are similarly verdant: “Honey dewdrops” form while characters sit “beneath a tree who wept in shades of pink”. Its leading single, Nobody Other, is the pinnacle of an album whose tracks, while vivid in their hazy atmospherics – warm August evenings! Funny fags! – occasionally float so fluffily, their essence peters out like vapour trails.
Kadhja Bonet: The Visitor review – marzipan-scented soul-folk serenades
Harriet Gibsone is a freelance journalist