From Algeria, France, and Brooklyn, Ourida boasts quite a varied background of cultures and tastes, and it shows in her music. Oriental Oud meets Broadway Musicals meet French Chanson.
In this tasty offering, Ourida presents a very healthy dish full of musical variety. Quick, light-hearted, intimate, and accessible. Full of fresh ideas and blends that are executed with flawless expertise from a cast of capable musicians, led by Ourida herself on the occasional Ukulele and the vocals of course.
Starting off with the jazz club influenced ‘Blues’. Lilting and satisfying and the ideal way to set the mood for the songs to come. The mixes on the entire album are very warm and tight, with minimal room ambiance, conjuring the image of a narrow, dim-lit ballroom with the band grooving away to a small audience of friends.
The album then jumps to ‘Don’t Talk’. Fronted by Ourida on the Uke followed with steady bass and a sparse beat, before an upbeat section that ends the song on a more funky note. keeping up with the same attitude, dry, intimate and tight, and lighthearted. ‘Deux Guitares’ is Latin-tinged, decidedly French in feel, with an emotive violic and sweet guitar arpeggios to back up the beautiful, heartfelt vocal delivery. ‘Bees’ is a short, buzzing number. With hot beats and basslines and an explosive crescendo led by the piano in the end. ‘Siren Song’ is easily the album’s jazziest offering. With a riff on the electric bass plus thumping upright bass. A minimal arrangement of 2 basses and a drum kit. A very warm and cozy song with dynamic vocals. 3 minutes in, the song shifts into an ancient record playing on a dusty gramophone.
‘Porte de la Chapelle’ is a definite highlight on the album. With twangy snazzy guitar riffs, coupled with the same riffs on an Oud, and quickfire vocals that are very capable and display prowess and control. The song is definitely well written and orchestrated and is my personal favorite in terms of music and vocals. ‘L’Emeute’ is a rogue electronica number that detracts more than it adds, struggling to find its ground for the length of its runtime. ‘Dance Me’ is a soft, ambient piece with wailing strings and vast oriental beats. The outro ‘Home’ is light, minimal, and romantic and its end beautifully captures what I imagine making this album was all like… Great fun!
Ourida is certainly a mature songwriter and performer. Capable and truly in tune with her strengths, which she utilizes fully in songs on this beautiful album. Hidden gems adorn it and with a feel that’s this warm and cozy, I’d be more than happy to spend chill autumn evenings enjoying it.