Back in January, Cleo Sol emerged from her winter cocoon with a stirring acoustic ballad entitled "Butterfly." We suspected that a new project would follow, and the London singer-songwriter has delivered exactly what we were hoping for with her new album Rose In The Dark. Comprised of 11 tracks stitched with threads of '70s jazz and '90s neo-soul, Cleo offers the soothing calm that we need in these chaotic times.
Rose In The Dark opens with the harmonic mantra "One Love" before the jazzy bass line and drum knocks of "Why Don't You" entice us to settle in for a cozy listen. With dulcet horns and doo-wop vocals, the reggae-tinged "Young Love" is a whole mood. Meanwhile, "Rewind" and title track "Rose In The Dark" are steeped in nostalgic overtones. Cleo then proceeds to hypnotize the listener in two different ways – with the seductive sultriness of "When I'm in Your Arms" and the heartfelt devotion of "Sideways."
"Butterfly" passes the acoustic baton to the album's next two tracks – "Sure of Myself," a down-tempo ballad with lush harmonies, and "I Love You," an aching, Rhodes-driven tune that seamlessly segues from sparse to layered composition. The vintage jazz-soul vibes of closing track "Her Light" deliver a cinematic finale to this incredible selection of authentic soul music.
It's hard to believe Cleo had doubts about releasing the project. In a transparent post, she admits, "I've been going back and forth with whether there will be a right time to release music this year, as I always go with trusting my heart and it hasn't felt quite right." She continues, "But this is bigger than me, and I always have to remind myself I'm simply a vessel...so my album is here for u to listen to, to uplift you, move you or be your backing track vibes whilst we are all moving through this moment."
We're so glad she decided to share this with us. Scroll down to preview Rose in the Dark, and make sure to purchase a copy for your collection.