After appearing as a featured singer on recordings for The Layabouts and Ralf GUM, singer/songwriter Portia Monique is ready for some solo shine with her eponymous debut album, Portia Monique. The nine-track debut, produced by UK soul-collective, Reel People Music (Reel People, Tony Momrelle), is a labor of love 18 months in the making and we're getting a sneak peek at her efforts with an album teaser.
From vocals to instrumentals, the album teaser is a pleasant mix of jazzy soul and smooth R&B. Opening strong with “Cloud IX,” we immediately get a feel for Ms. Monique’s vocal abilities. Her remarkable voice possesses a confidence that is both alluring and charming. The bodacious “Ain’t Scared of You” is a spirited declaration, while the sultry “Ecstasy” offers a tempting invitation. Next up is the awkward spoken word piece, “Who?,” but each time I hear it, I can’t help but ask, “Why?”. Her vocals are bold and engaging, but the poetry sounds more like a rant, and takes away from what is an otherwise perfectly good song. The uplifting positivity of “Smile” has all the makings of a feel-good groove. And the lively “Never Give You Up” is a funky ode to relationship commitment. Fluid jazz piano, heavily accented by drums and horns, provide lush accompaniment for Portia’s soaring vocals on “Grace” -- a standout track, in my opinion. Both “My Love” (a flirtatious proposition) and “Nobody” (a sassy lesson in love) provide a funktastic ending to the album.
Overall, it sounds like this will be an impressive debut for the talented singer. Luckily, you can click the play button below and hear it for yourself. If you’re already hooked, head over to iTunes and pre-order Portia Monique ahead of its October 27th release date.
Portia Monique Portia Monique tracklist:
Ain’t Scared of You
Never Give You Up