Album of the Day: Tawiah, “Starts Again”

Starts Again, the debut album fromLondon-based singer Tawiah, is centered around the notion of yearning.  On “Borders,” over gospel-y piano and a strolling bassline, she pines for a long-distance lover; on “Don’t Hold Your Breath,” over a gentle guitar figure and fluttering strings—courtesy of composer Miguel Atwood-Ferguson—she longs for a crush to bloom into romance. And on the title track, co-produced by Sam Beste of Hejira, she compares an on-again/off-again relationship to the changing of the seasons: “Love me in the winter when it’s bitter, bitterly cold / Love me in the summer when gorgeous girls are running wild,” trills Tawiah, who identifies as queer. “We break up / Kiss, make up and it starts again / Starts again, starts again / Can’t pretend to love another so we start again.”

“Lost In A Dream” showcases Tawiah’s feistier side, using ‘80s street soul as a vehicle to strike back at duplicitous people. They want the dirt on you, babe / Not everyone will share our joy / And they’ll come around with smiles if you make me cry,” she sings, with audible venom in her voice. Then comes the defiant cry: “But I tell ’em I can do anything with you.” On Starts Again, love is hard-won—and worth defending with every fiber of your being.

Phillip Mlynar

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