China Bowls / Laurent John / Tom Forest At Camden Assembly
Camden Assembly and Electric Harmony presents...
With an infectious neo-soul jazz vibe and experimental hip-hop influences China Bowls has played across the UK, from Colston Hall to Glastonbury, Boomtown and Bestival. She's a storyteller in her own right and delivers both extensive solo sets and dynamic full band performances.
In a world full of war, misery and terror, we find ourselves being increasingly drawn towards music. This is hardly surprising, as it is musics undeniable capacity to heal which keeps us coming back. Laurent Johns music is exactly that a vessel where listeners can be transported from their worries and plunged into the depths of soulful and sensual rhythms and melodies.
Originally hailing from Antigua and Barbuda, Laurent now resides in East London, carving out his own brand of alternative/electro soul. His music can be described as earnest and introspective, focussing on deep narratives that could encompass topical themes from climate change, to self-esteem, to fear, addiction and of course love. His songs not only serve as music, but also as conversation pieces.
Laurents style steers left of the norm, as he approaches lyricism from a far more reflective place. The result here is a listening experience that is dynamic. His music flirts with space in that it is sparse enough to create a sense of fullness, giving his soulful vocals its own character, of which they sit atop floaty, uplifting beatwork and synthesis. In this we can hear subtle overtones of the musical influence of Otis Redding, Ray Charles and Luther Vandross.
Life has changed a lot for Tom and Isabel Gracefield. The long-term collaborators have created a beautiful album under the moniker Tom Forest after having a child. The album is titled Hope and its truly the first great album to come out of 2018. The sonics are lush, the lyrics are true, and the vocals have an essence of heart thats subtly overwhelming at times. You know that Tom believes in everything he sings, and that each word is backed up by a real lived experience. Isabels talents of a producer are at prime display, and you can tell the two made an album that came out exactly as they wanted it to. - The 405
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