It never happens before about 8pm, when I finally managed to persuade my children to remain in their beds without running around, dressing up, pretending to be spiderman / Beyoncé (really) and doing whatever young children do, then its time to sit down and not dwell on other problems. I have my own solutions. Sadly it doesn’t stretch much beyond beer and biscuits, but it usually works for me. I suppose the beer is a common one, and who doesn’t like a chocolate biscuit to take away the worry of the next bill, or whatever.
Tanika is a rising start coming out of London right now. The 23-year-old holds a winning Arsenal of Soul/ R’n’B, currently being championed by, amongst others, Charlie Sloth over on 1Xtra. Ahead of its release on iTunes later in the month, you can grab it as a free download.
Opening track Hooker Heels shows that Tanika is capable of smart, soulful pop music. It’s cleverly arranged, the accompaniments bouncing along throughout, with irresistible hooks, and Sneakbo providing some contrast with his rhyming.
Good Bye follows, which showcases Tanika’s vocals, over the top of a stripped down acoustic guitar backing. She switches gear as the track unfurls and the added backing vocals add an extra layer of soul.
After that Casualty shows a more Grimey beat, and also shows that Tanika can mix it with the usual R’n’B suspects, her voice finally completely showing itself to be a thing of power as well as emotion and beauty. Both lyrically and musically it breaks no new ground, but it carefully and skillfully steps over it to good effect. Renowned Uk rapper DVS adds his powerful presence to proceedings.
Thoughts of Love follows, and is probably the most emotionally strong song on the ep. It rolls over the ears seductively as Tanika expresses, well, her thoughts of (and on) Love. Brooklyn’s Zebra Katz adds some dark thoughts to the track, his gruff voice appearing out of the shadows.
The ep finishes with a live performance of Hometown, and shows that she’s able to replicate what she does in the studio onto the live arena. Again stripped down, just the safety net of an acoustic guitar, Tanika builds the intensity throughout before leaving us with this last, angelic note…..
Tanika describes the reason for her singing as being ‘to make people forget their problems while I forget mine too’. Seems like I can add that to beer and biscuits then.