Every once in a while I have a need for some peace and quiet, a time for reflection. Now the music on Kairos, the radio show of .No on Concertzender, reviewed here on a monthly basis, regularly provides the music that allows people to contemplate their lives or meditate on music bringing them into a trance, alone with their being.
Personally I need another kind of music. Enter Sound Of Freedom by the London based trio Paradisia. Three female voices weaving in and out of each other, allowing a listener to crawl into the melody. The accompaniment is just what a song needs. For most of the time it is the three voices that are central. Sophie-Rose Harper is the lead singer accompanied by Anna Pesquidous (harp) and Kristy Buglass (keyboards). They went to Berlin to record the album where other instruments were added to their basis.
For me the music presented on Sound Of Freedom somehow represents freedom. There is a kind of positive undertone throughout the album that allows each and everyone to escape the here and now. Closing your eyes is enough. Let the music in and it will carry you away. Somehow each and every note seems to be in its logical place creating a seamless experience. Now that could be a very negative connotation, which it is not. Paradisia does not produce empty perfect pop, nor seemed to have strived to find the perfect pop song. For that the voice of Sophie-Rose Harper is to distinct. She stands out from the pack in many ways. Very much her own in a few ways.
When the band started to colour the music in with German producer Mirko Schaffer, three songs were produced by Matt Twaites, the magic all came together. A timeless sort of music came out transcending the decades with a slightly modern accompaniment that places Paradisia firmly in 2017. With Harper's voice hinting at famous singers of the 70s. It's easy for me to imagine a song like 'Just Now', one of the more straightforward songs on the album, in the Eurovision Songcontest, blown up into humongous (and often ridiculous) proportions, where Paradisia simply touches all the right notes. Creating a pop song without any superfluous effects. 'Just Now' is just right. In fact this band could win it one day with the right song.
The song that stands out most, inevitably if someone covers Bruce Springsteen's greatest hit, is 'Dancing In The Dark'. Instantly recognisable and changed beyond anything Springsteen ever played. Just piano, so slow, and the voices of the ladies. If anything it shows the strength of Springsteen (I'm not a fan and thought the song only so-so at the time, too bombastic). Just listening to the song shows that it is good.
Allow me one more example of how good Paradisia plays with my mood. 'Silent Lover' starts out as a U.K. folk song of around 1970, with everything superfluous stripped away and progresses into a beautiful pop song, with a dark lining moving in front of the sun. Again the band plays with a motif showing that nothing is what it seems and one idea can lead to a few others, while presenting a coherent whole. 'Silent Lover' is the female counterpart of Tim Christensen. Just think of songs like 'India'.
Paradisia presented me a huge surprise with Sound Of Freedom. Listening to the first notes I thought been there, done that, many times. Before the album was over the first time I was already convinced. Something that each consecutive spin not only confirmed by deepened. Sound Of Freedom is one of the better albums of 2017 to date.
You can listen to 'Silent Lover' here: