REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

A New Queen Of Soul? Eska's Debut Provides Compelling Case

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

Having been in the pipeline for years, Eska’s debut album is to be released this year. It was definitely worth the wait.


It’s unusual in this day and age for an artist to be granted such patience ahead of their debut release. The cliché goes that with the recording industry is as quick to drop someone as they are to pick them up, and that without immediate pay-offs then patience can swiftly wear thin. But not all artists can boast a talent as strong as London’s Eska.

Previously guest vocalist on tracks for Nitin Sawhney and Zero 7, no mean feat in itself, the singer songwriter has also headlined James Lavelle’s Meltdown festival and the Barbican’s Jazz Voice event. Her reputation has always been one based around promise, and the impending release of her self-titled debut album only goes to justify what has been mooted for years within the industry.

'Eska' is an album that’s very easily to listen to, effortlessly slipping between genres to provide a fascinating blend of music.

The range of instrumentals used throughout is as varied as it is fantastic, but it’s Eska’s sublime voice that really ties each of the tracks together. "Gatekeeper", a euphoric pop track that was initially released some two years ago, is the perfect example – Eska’s whirling vocal range dances over the soft beat of a double bass and echoing twangs of a distant guitar.

"Rock of Ages" has a folkier sound to it; a much softer, slower track that’s much more gentle than others on the album. "This is How A Garden Grows" on the other hand is a bit louder and soulful – the kind of song you can imagine captivating the hazy Ronnie Scott’s crowd at the Late Late Shows.

Boiler Room have deemed Eska "the best singer you've never heard of". Praise enough in itself, but surely to soon become outdated as wider recognition beckons.

The brilliant 'Eska' is released on 27th April, and is to be supported by a nationwide headline tour. Details to both can be found below.

To find out more about Eska
click here. To visit Eska's Facebook page
click here. Words by Luke Forshaw