Wednesday 27 February 2019

'My Soul Sensation' by Nicole Willis & Banda Palomita

Nicole Willis has long since established herself as one of the leading artists for this age of soul music.  An exceptional vocalist, writer and producer, Nicole has managed to almost reinvent herself and her sound since her debut outing with Finland's The Soul Investigators in 2005 on Timmion Records, 'Keep Reachin' Up'. 
Whether she was being backed by the Northern soul-inspired musical stylings of The Soul Investigators or the big band nature of The UMO Jazz Orchestra ('My Name is Nicole Willis', 2017), Nicole was always able to make the music and style all her own.  Now capturing new energy and inspiration with Banda Palomita through 'My Soul Sensation', the collective help Willis to evolve a step further, this time, towards a more disco-styled blend of soul music.
The new musical direction could actually be argued to not be new at all - see Nicole Willis guesting on Mr Comicstore's 'Are You Ready?' or check 'Hot Sauce' by Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators from 2015's 'Happiness in Every Style'.  This is a release that has been biding its time for some years, just waiting for the right blend of musicians to help see the project realised.  Enter Banda Palomita! 
Formed in 2017, and actually a project announced to us during our exclusive feature with Nicole that year, Banda Palomita comprise of Ilari Larjosto (drums and project co-producer), Ndioba Gueye (electric bass), Julius Heikkilä (guitars), Antti Kujanpää (keyboards) and Luiz Orlando Sá Do Carmo (percussion).  Long-time collaborator Jimi Tenor also provides sax on the project's title track.
Released through digital and vinyl formats, the six tracks presented on 'My Soul Sensation' are absolute bliss.  The sweet soul of project opener 'Save It' is an instant winner, as is the disco-heavy floor-filler 'Free', the sing-a-long nature of 'My Soul Sensation' or the final three minutes of 'My Reflection' which sees Banda Palomita close out the song with a groove that could've played out happily for another 30 minutes. 
The project boasts an incredible amount of highs and is another awesome outing amongst the Nicole Willis catalogue.

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