ALBUM OF THE DAY
Natalie Duncan, “Free”
By Tara C. Mahadevan · July 22, 2020

On Free, British neo-soul singer Natalie Duncan explores doubt, freedom, and love atop a heady mix of soul, R&B, and jazz, weaving together tales of the heart with grace and beauty—showing emotional restraint one moment, and yearning the next. On the sticky single “Pools,” Duncan rides a wave of devotion, crooning, “I just sit inside of your energy/ You really fascinate me/ How come you chose me/ I feel luminous when you’re close to me.” On the bleary ballad “Autumn,” she mourns a lost love: “You can feel the presence of your ghost,” she sings. “He never looked as good as when you left him alone/ Just as the summer fades to autumn, he’ll be gone.”

The tone shifts after the interlude “Glass,” on which Duncan samples Nina Simone. On “Karma,” Duncan’s voice radiates warmth, offering a dispatch from the other side of love. Free ebbs and flows the same way love does; in the beginning, the tide feels like it will swallow Duncan whole. By the end, she comes up for air, reentering the world shaky and raw, but trembling with potential.

Read more in R&B/Soul →
NOW PLAYING PAUSED
by
.

Top Stories

Latest see all stories

On Bandcamp Radio see all

Listen to the latest episode of the Bandcamp Weekly. Listen now →