– THE QUIET RIOT –
“Sans soucis” is French for “without worry, or free of care”. It also happens to be a Baden Baden-based brand of cosmetics.
And in a strange way, both namesakes kind of fit this London-based singer-songwriter’s ‘brand’ so elegantly, it makes for a charming listen from top-to-toe.
Active since 2016 and releasing music independently from the following year, in 2018, she released the single They Asked Me to Stay – a track which garnered a good deal of interest and also drew comparisons to, amongst others, Laura Mvula, Fatoumata Diawara, and Lianne La Havas.
Unchain is that track’s follow-up single.
There is a powerful intimacy to Sans Soucis’ music. Even on They Asked Me to Stay – a track that included drums and piano accompaniment – there’s always been a breezy brittleness to her music that’s usually reserved for the strictly acoustic.
For me, that’s always been accompanied by the underlying feeling, that you could be laying back in your garden on a Summer’s day, listening to your (super, super talented!) mate humming some half-formed melody while tickling a tune from her unplugged guitar.
Unchain takes that template and twists it. The guitar tone is a little less organic – a little more Zero 7 – while the backing vocals hover and waiver like some exotic bird’s morning aria. The latter, in particular, can be heard across the EP and really elevates the record above most jazz-inflected singer-songwriters you’ll hear on the circuit.
“Unchain talks about self-love and humbleness” says Sans Soucis. “Be brave and ask for help when you need it. Writing is a way for me to be able to contribute to your healing, wherever it sits.”
And like a beautiful balm, she certainly succeeds in delivering on her promise. Perhaps our German friends of eth same name should get in touch.
Unchain comes from Sans Soucis’ EP, The Lover which is out now.
MORE FROM THIS WEEK’S MIX
ABSTRACT ORCHESTRA: AIR
SAMPA THE GREAT: FINAL FORM
BUBBY LEWIS: GAME OF LIFE
P.S. You can find all of the tracks reviewed above in the 45 Revolutions per Minute playlist below or click to access the 45 RPM Playlist on Spotify itself.
If you like what you hear (or even if you don’t), please engage in dialogue with me @45rpm_Reviews on Twitter. And, if you’d like to receive updates weekly, please subscribe to the email list to get these recommendations sent to your inbox weekly.
– SV –