Michael Kiwanuka


Home Again Polydor***

He may have been the victor of the BBC’s Sound of 2012 poll, but Michael Kiwanuka’s music isn’t exactly what you’d call contemporary. Having discovered soul music in his teens, the Londoner devoted himself to the classics, and strands of Al Green, Marvin Gaye and Bill Withers are audible in his artistic code. Even Home Again’s cover art suggests a different era, an impression further augmented by the singer’s gorgeous oakey croon and the sympathetic crackle-and-hiss production. Tell Me a Talesets the tone beautifully, woodwind and string gently steering an easygoing acoustic soul melody. The slinky, sassy Bonesis another highlight among a clutch of understated, laid- back numbers. Kiwanuka has a gift for authentically recreating a past sound, but you have to wonder: where he can go next? michaelkiwanuka.com

Download tracks: Tell Me a Tale, Bones