I heard a live preview of Natacha Atlas’s album STRANGE DAYS at an intimate gig in Blackheath earlier this summer. It was an extraordinary experience, hypnotic, transporting, musically accomplished, and unsettling too – a perfect metaphor for the times we live in.
The album is out now, and its title – STRANGE DAYS – perfectly describes a sense of foreboding, discord, of harmony on a different scale, of time signatures that aren’t familiar to most, rising steadily, eliptical. And through it all the golden thread of Ms Atlas’s extraordinary voice – a glorious instrument in itself, shining a light on what’s making us a sick society.
It’s like hearing an outsider’s view on our world, on what we’re doing to it, and to each other.
STRANGE DAYS is a sophisticated, mesmerising, refined, yet bold piece of work. It takes you into a contemplative space. A space where you can leave the chaos behind, or perhaps have enough distance to identify the malign actors, and maybe influence action against them.
If Atlas records nothing else, this would be a fitting coda to an extraordinary 25 year recording career. But it doesn’t sound like an end, it sounds like a whole new thrilling beginning. Atlas has never sounded better, and set within a richly textured musical soundscape like this, she shines bright.
The musicianship on display in STRANGE DAYS is breathtaking.
I can’t recommend the album enough – buy a copy, download it, share it, make everyone you know and love listen to it. It’s a masterpiece. Hear it in a darkened room; hear it with headphones on. Really hear it. Listen. Feel it.
Get it on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/5nVR0FdUwUlqtlT8DYEGOt
There are many highlights awaiting you – each piece on the album is a stand-out in its own right. There are no fillers here. This is an artist at her peak.
Natacha Atlas – I salute you!