Call Me Unique is an artist who definitely lives up to her name. Shamelessly and successfully blending genres for years now, she has finally released the long-awaited ‘Urban Gypsy’ EP – with a little help from producer Professor F. But is it capable of capturing the eclectic excitement of her live shows?
‘Stranger’ introduces you to the EP well – with gentle plucked acoustic guitars and quiet scat opening the track, a reference perhaps to Unique’s acoustic-led beginnings. But it isn’t long before the erratic rhythm section joining in, bringing you into a world of sprawling jazz and satisfying piano melodies. And over this, we get Unique’s trademark vocals – capable of seamlessly flicking between harmonious singing and vicious snarls. It’s a strange experience – one that you won’t find anywhere else other than with Unique.
And this experience continues throughout the duration of the EP. The feeling of lounge jazz meets modern R&B is strongest on title track ‘Urban Gypsy’, which feels cinematic, sophisticated and effortlessly cool. It’s plain to see why this was chosen as the title track – its catchy refrain and powerful instrumentation impossible to not enjoy.
It’s hard not to give a mention to ‘Sholo’, the fifth track and first single from the EP, because it’s such a good track that has the most mainstream appeal of all that is on offer here. But sometimes mainstream appeal isn’t the most important thing, and nothing shows this better than final freestyle track ‘3 Words’.
‘3 Words’ is the perfect informal improv to close the EP. It’s a freestyle track, which is a bold and notable move for any performer. But it’s so much more than that. Unique uses the opportunity to provide a shout out to her loyal fans, as well as thanking every single listener. It’s a clever and effective use of a freestyle track, and one that gives you a sense of belonging you won’t get anywhere else. But after an EP as good as this, why would you even want to go anywhere else?
You can listen to the EP here.