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It’s especially rare these days to come across a true vocalist who concentrates his or her vocal abilities to help coincide with strong lyrics. Most of the time, jazz vocalists are often set to the margins and a lot of modern R&B has become a hodgepodge of shallow melodies and assembly-line rhythms set to equally mediocre songwriting and singing that wouldn’t be fit for a karaoke bar. Nevertheless, in this whirlwind of confusion, one is able to find the calming eye of the storm in indie jazz songstress Livie Moné. Her voice, though not seeking the overreaching arches of divas known the world over, contains an honesty and clarity that communicates the pain and the beauty of life that has been missing in a lot of music for a long time. Her debut EP Bullets and Blue Skies will be released this month by Black Lip Records and is set to be wonderful album.
As was said before, she does not attempt diva-like vocal tricks with her voice. Yet, much like Sade, who also does not attempt said vocals, the soothing musicality of her voice pulls you into her storytelling, like the comforting voice of a mother reading a bedtime story. Two songs in particular exemplify this wonderful attribute. “Trees” possesses a dreamlike melody that is reminiscent of that of Goapele’s “Closer,” with its sweetly strumming guitars and drifty vocals by Moné that illustrate the emptiness of the aftermath of a romance. This high is instituted by these memories and her vocals beautifully verbalize the pain, joy and the hopelessness that almost always leave us with a narcotic-like effect between completely numbness and total heartache. The ballad “Spoon Fed” is powerful and emotional in its message against one turning away from the world because of the bitter loneliness that follows. Her ending vocals close out the song’s fade out, as if to make sure her warning carries on the air to any vulnerable soul listening. This wonderful talent has made me personally put faith back into modern-day vocalist. As a longtime lover of jazz and R&B, I’ve always looked for soul-stirring vocals to strike an almost literal chord with me in order to validate music as ear-worthy. Bullets and Blue Skies will most surely be one of those albums that makes you sing along with your eyes closed and your head swaying back and forth rhythmically, because you know personally that Miss Moné has the supernatural power to move you.
Keep an eye on Blacklip Records for Livie’s Bullets and Blue Skies release!
— Simone Brown