Seinabo Sey, “Pretend”
Seinabo Sey’s powerful voice poises her for a serious breakthrough on Pretend, her debut album. She comes from Sweden with a direct declaration: “There’s a conclusion to my illusion / I assure you this.” After the earth-shattering “Younger,” Sey proceeds to decorate her R&B, soul, and pop with profound wisdom, her hooks rattling around your brain long after the LP has run out. Pretend’s title track most successfully balances all the elements of Sey’s sound, using synths, background vocals, and a damn catchy chorus (“Knock on wood”) to compose a powerhouse single. Meanwhile, songs like “Sorry” and “Still” showcase the singer-songwriter’s ability to create both moody and buoyant tones with her smooth, husky vocals. It’s that talent that makes deep cut “Poetic” beautifully romantic rather than just another cheesy love song, and that makes Pretend a solid debut for an artist with an exciting future.