EP Review: Yazmin Lacey – When the Sun Dips 90 Degrees

Singer Yazmin Lacey’s lastest EP When the Sun Dips 90 Degrees is a heavenly dream. Lacey caresses our ears with soulful and funky vocals set to soundtrack your summer. The songs are all very laidback but interesting enough instrumentally to relax even the most restless individuals. As soon as opener ‘90 Degrees’ begins, the tone takes me to 70s America, evoking the tight session bands of the likes of Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder. But Lacey herself has a sleepier vocal delivery obviously influenced by more contemporary artists as Laura Mvula and Erykah Badu.

Yazmin Lacey - When the Sun Dips 90 Degrees artwork

Yazmin hails from East London but moved to Nottingham shortly before discovering an interest in singing at open mic nights. She has already released another equally vibey EP entitled Black Moon only last year. Yazmin is part of a growing number of jazz and hip-hop influenced London artists gaining huge popularity. The astounding musicianship of these artists has become more important to their decidedly young audience, with acts like Yussef Kamaal, Zara McFarlane and Sons of Kemet reaching further out in the UK on the DIY circuit.

Despite not being a pop vocalist, Yazmin clearly knows how to write catchy choruses, such as simple one liners ‘This’ll be my remedy’ on ’90 Degrees’ and ‘My body needs a healing, let’s shut off this feeling, my body needs a healing’ on ‘Body Needs Healing’. With lyrics like these, it’s clear Yazmin is not afraid to be a deep and personal writer. The backing musicians fit perfectly around Lacey’s song writing; on the track ‘Body Needs Healing’ the percussion gives drive and a groove to dance to, while the twinkling electric keys provide a soothing base for her wistful vocal performance. I love how the music merges both acoustic piano and the ever-popular electric Rhodes piano. On ‘Burn & Rise’, the held chords from the electric keys give a chilled edge to the piano tastefully soloing over it. This is why jazz influenced music is gaining popularity, as it’s being put in a much more accessible context.