Tuesday 5 September 2023

'The Nola Clarks Xprmt' by LaNote

'The Nola Clarks Xprmt' marks the new album release from singer, songwriter and producer, Caroline Marks, better known as LaNote.

It's surprising to think that despite all the years LaNote has given to music, that her debut solo outing was only unveiled a mere two years ago - an eclectic and dynamic project entitled 'Rebirth' that served as an excellent introduction to the artist as a revered name in her own right.

Following her years as a member of the genre-defying and genre-defining Electric Conversation, LaNote was measured in her releases only seemingly creating when compelled by having something to say.  Collaborations with As Valet, Simon S and Deborah Jordan, amongst others, were elegant reminders of the brilliance she brought to the Electric Conversation dynamic and an excellent showcase for an inimitable vocal delivery that saw LaNote effortlessly breeze from sultry vocals to more intricate hip-hop-inspired wordplay.

As a hole, the Electric Conversation legacy has continued to permeate through into projects that LaNote, As Valet, Gus la TempĂȘte and Oz (before his untimely passing) have gone on to create in the years since the group's official releases through Futuristica Music. 'The Nola Clarks Xprmt' excitingly continues the Electric Conversation lineage by finding a home on Laissedoudis Records - home to Gus la TempĂȘte who is also credited for mixing duties on the album - with contributions from As Valet on the track 'Complete Expression' who is further credited for production on the album's 'Rebirth' predecessor.

'The Nola Clarks Xprmt' is very much LaNote's record though.  Helming the album's vocals, writing and production, the beat tape-inspired approach finds the artist very comfortable over intricate and immersive production that provides her space to veer the music into different realms.

Backed by a sensational video for 'Au fonds des boids', highlights on the album include the effervescent bounce of 'Bonjour Caroline', the sublime instrumental 'Pretty' and the erratic harmony of 'Witness of their End'.  The folk-esque 'SoundPearlSong' also marks as a nice change of pace for the album, again, demonstrating the artist's exciting and varied facets.

In many ways, 'The Nola Clarks Xprmt' serves as an excellent accompaniment to 'Rebirth', building masterfully upon much of the groundwork established through that release.  'The Nola Clarks Xprmt' finds LaNote still creative, still self-assured and, most of all, still with something to say.

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