Charlene Soraia – the new Joni Mitchell?
Charlene Soraia is phenomenal: her voice is unique, playful and like nothing I’ve heard before, her intricate finger picking like a jazz pro who’s been on tour for 20 years, and her arrangements and melodies are sophisticated way beyond a 23-year-old. After three of her songs at the Cambridge Junction a thought crossed my mind that I did not anticipate: she might be a new Joni Mitchell.
I would not compare any female artist to Joni Mitchell lightly. In fact, just today I read that the American country singer Taylor Swift might be playing Mitchell in an upcoming movie, and I was enraged because no one can really play her, ever. At Charlene Soraia’s concert in Cambridge I was surprised to find myself thinking of a young Mitchell.
Sophistication comparable to Joni Mitchell
I had already known Soraia’s album Moonchild and I knew her playfulness and innovative style. The concert was even better than the CD because I felt that her musical sophistication seemed to come with ease. That is very rare, and very compelling.
While her cover of “Wherever You Will Go” by The Calling, which was used in an advert for Twinings tea, is a beautiful song, her own music is so much more interesting. The London-based singer-songwriter has a set of songs that show how gentle, strong, and even quirky and startling her voice can be.
Her songs are folksy, jazzy and mix melancholic with upbeat. When listening to her melodies, you definitely don’t have that nagging feeling (as with many other artists) that you have heard this before.
Soraia is a confident, innovative musician and I’m excited about her upcoming album (to be recorded after the tour).
Check out Charlene Soraia’s other concerts – you don’t want to miss seeing this talent while she still plays in a small venues.
Second Picture: Danny Payne
Third Picture: http://kurnikoff.com/2012/02/charlene-soraia-ronnie-scotts/