Album of the Week: Wu Hen — Kamaal Williams & Is This Offensive and Loud? — Nat Vazer
Eastside’s Album of the Week show this week features the latest release from Kamaal Williams, and sweet indie-folk sounds out of Melbourne from Nat Vazer’s Is This Offensive and Loud?.
Kamaal Williams made a name for himself back in 2016 after teaming up with Yussef Dayes to release Black Focus under the Yussef Kamaal name. The British producers then went their separate ways to release suberb solo projects of their own. Kamaal Williams’ latest release Wu Hen is a nod to his electronic alter-ego Henry Wu while still maintaining the classical jazz phrasing and syncopation you would expect from a heavyweight of the London jazz scene. The album meanders about duelling drums and saxophone from the talented Quinn Mason on “Pigalle”, and shoots left of field with an r’n’b vocal number featuring Lauren Faith on “Hold On”. The album is primarily a jazz record, but Kamaal Williams has managed to produce something that isn’t afraid to question what that means.
Nat Vazer started her career in law, and after a creative revelation a few years ago released her debut EP We Used to Have Real Conversations. The Melbourne based singer/songwriter has since released this, her full length album Is This Offensive and Loud? The album is anything but. An indie-folk rumination on love, family, and belonging, it is an album that shines in its lyricism. Nat Vazer has concocted a sunny, lazy album that ranges from the stripped back and emotional “Mother”, to the almost 90s grunge sound of “Grateful”, a tribute to the strength of the women in her life. The album is a bold step onto the Melbourne music scene, akin to the likes of Stella Donnelly and Julia Jacklin in her biting witty lyrics atop gorgeous guitar riffs.