SINGLE REVIEW: Sunday Lendis – ‘With Ease’

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There are times when I agree to review something based entirely upon the description of the music the artist or band play. I guess this is something of a throwback to the days of my youth when, unless they got radio play or a friend had a copy, all you had to go on was a review in one of the weekly music papers. Sometimes those reviews were too clever for their own good and didn’t actually tell you what the music sounded like. Beyond that there was the ‘love the cover, let’s get it’ method of buying; something which led to some interesting choices in my collection.

Anyway, the point I’m making here is that this release from Sunday Lendis is one of those. The description of her music as jazz-folk blended with electronica had me as soon as I read them. What I had in my head, and the initial listen confirmed it, was something of the feel of Joni Mitchell.

The sound of this is at the same time rich and complex, and simple.It’s simple in that at its heart is a tune that is beautiful and quietly compelling. The richness comes from the music; a carefully crafted and fantastically played blend of vocals, instruments and electronic sounds.

It is not a case of when one of the sounds – jazz, folk and electronica – takes a lead; the feel ebbs and flows. Sometimes this is signalled by an instrument – the drums coming in – and sometimes by a stripping back of the sound – to voice, handclaps and synth washes. But it’s seamless, it’s sinuous.

But for me it is Sunday’s voice that charmed and mesmerised me. She goes from soft folky, to jazzy to spoken voice with astounding ease. And she is singing words with meaning. The song is about feeling lost, when your skin doesn’t seem to fit you perfectly and you are yet to grow into it. Sunday explains ‘I hadn’t given myself the time or patience to figure out who I was, during the final year of my degree covid hit and I felt like I was left with nothing. This song explores those feelings of drifting, feeling lost and unsure of yourself especially during such difficult times’

This is an incredible song; wonderfully written and arranged, beautifully played and sung. I know it’s early in the year but I just know that this will be one of my favourite reviewed releases this year. It’s that good.

The info

Sunday was born and raised in Australia, moving to the UK in 2010. She graduated from Leeds College of Music in 2020. Since then she has performed at events and venues such as Jazz Cafe, The Old Queen’s Head Islington, Brudenell Social Club and festivals such as Green Man and Shambala Festival, Liverpool International Jazz Festival, Manchester Jazz festival; and has worked with established Northern artists including KOG, Tom Excell, B-ahwe and Yaatri.

Since the project’s beginnings Sunday Lendis has been supported by The Sound & Music Composers Award, Launchpad and Leeds Conservatoire’s Artist Development Grant.

Her debut EP ‘Long Exposure’ is set to release this Spring.

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Frank is the website guy for Local Sound Focus. Takes a lot of photos and loves writing about new music.