Album Review

Aisha Badru – The Way Back Home EP

Singer songwriter Aisha Badru hails from Yonkers, New York, but has now relocated to Florida. Her excellent debut album Pendulum was released back in 2018, a beautiful and deep collection of folky songs delivered with understated vocals that somehow sound powerful despite being little more than a whisper at times.

Badru continues in a similar vein with this fine six track EP, its songs speaking to personal growth and a very human desire to find somewhere to call home. Again the combination of philosophical lyrics and ethereal vocals works very well, giving a collection that is both thought provoking and lovely to listen to.

The opening track Graves builds slowly into a meditation on the past and how we must learn to bury our pain before we can move on. Rooted takes this theme further, speaking to putting down metaphorical, as well as physical, roots. The Way Back Home, perhaps the pick of the EP, sits at its centre, the smoky vocal over a folky acoustic guitar leaving a warm feeling as the journey continues.

Home comes next, a more sorrowful tone initially describing the losses of the past, before the pace picks up slightly in an expression of optimism for the future. Worthwhile, as its name suggests, has an ultimately optimistic message. We face many threats in these turbulent times, including Covid and the climate crisis, but Badru is certain that our resilience will allow us to overcome.

Rebirth serves as a perfect coda to the journey described through the EP, its spoken word introduction building from a simple sound to a joyous melody that encapsulates the sense of starting again and building a better life.

The minimalist approach that Aisha Badru takes to her music allows her gorgeous vocals to dominate. The musical accompaniment is the canvas that allows her to paint her pictures in words, and the quality of her songwriting shines though. This formulation is perfectly implemented in a quite beautiful collection of songs.

Release date: 3 December 2021
Label: Nettwork

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