Though born in Sweden, singer-songwriter Snoh Aalegra is based in LA – and its the influence of this latter environment which shows most in her newly released mini-album, Don’t Explain. After listening to her music, it’s not hard to understand how she arrived at the label “cinematic soul”, which is perfectly outlined in the album’s intro, ‘It’s Just A Fever’.
‘In Your River’, the first full length song on the mini-album, leads us into a dramatic territory, backing up the Old Hollywood vibes with its swelling strings and Snoh’s dusky vocals. The next track, ‘Charleville 9200’, brings us closer to the modern day, picking up some 90s chilled R&B references along the way, all while keeping that cinematic edge in sight. Yet if it’s too subtle for you, then title track ‘Don’t Explain’ will send you right back to the Hollywood Hills again. The instrumental backing is worthy of a Bond film, yet the track is without the clichés; instead, it’s set to a relaxed beat, providing a unexpected, fresh edge. ‘Under The Influence’ harks back to another era again, this time looking back to old-school soul for references. Here, Snoh demonstrates the power of her vocals, which combine beautifully with the wandering bass and John Mayer’s guitar licks.
Mayer isn’t the only musician to be taken with Snoh Aalegra’s sound. She’s already found a fan in Prince, while Don’t Explain can boast No I.D as its executive producer, who can count names such as Rihanna, Nas and Kanye West among his past collaborators. With a voice as striking as hers and a distinct vision to match, it comes as no surprise that figures such as these are eager to work with Snoh. Her ability to capture so many eras and bind them into a uniform sound is astounding, making Snoh Aalegra one to watch.
Listen to Don’t Explain below.