Nikka & Strings Soulful New Album Underneath and In Between

Nikka & Strings Soulful New Album Underneath and In Between

Nikka & Strings Soulful New Album Underneath and In Between

Nikka Costa delivers an album full of soul, funky attitudes and emotional blues on Underneath and In Between. Her fist single released in March Nothing Compares 2 You opens the album and introduces you to the luscious strings.  The gentle re-working of the Prince number written for Sinead O’Connor retains the hurt as the singer confesses Nothing Compares 2 U.  Later in the album Silver Tongue co-written with Prince who released his version as the B side for his single Call Your Name and never performed live by Prince now is given the Nikka & Strings treatment. Silver Tongue so elegant with Nikka’s vocals darker and smooth again the arrangement its simplicity with the power left to the vocals and sophisticated musicianship.

The piano and strings open the Ray Charles Classic then Nika’s honeyed vocals sing Love To Love You Less. The strings are sharp and the horn acts as perfect punctuation on one of Nikka’s self-confessed favourites previously recorded on her album Pebbles To A Pearl. It is not surprising that in the mix is Frank Sinatra’s Come Rain Or Shine, originally arranged by her father Don Costa. The emotional bond with her father can be heard as the arrangement is for a string quartet rather than a 50 piece orchestra. The sound is still full with the strings pulling the lyrics with a determined and sassy approach.  The tones of Nikka’s voice change as it deepens, darkens or lightens depending on the lyrics as she emotionally engages with a maturity to the chosen numbers.  Her voice gently growls as the lyrics explore the pain of loss. With the modest orchestration the number has an intimacy a feeling that this is being sung directly to and  for you as a salve  to your own loss and pain. Headfirst takes us to a sharper place, the sound is electronic, contemporary from the ProWhoa EP; it has a ghostly feel as the change in direction making you sit up and listen displaying the depth and breadth of Nikka’s vocal skill and range full of originality.

Closing the album out with two powerful classics from The American songbook of popular songs, Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying and Stormy Weather. Ass her soulful voice pulls in her blues heart the song is a comfort blanket empowering and this classic gets the Nikka treatment with style. Closing the album with Stormy Monday, forever associated with Judy Garland here Nikka sings with a quiet vulnerability as her tongue caresses the lyrics. The strings add to the feel leaving you with the pleasure that Nikka has created from the first to the last note on Underneath and In Between.

Nikka & Strings Soulful New Album Underneath and In BetweenThe album sings to you there is a freshness in every arrangement, reflecting the talent of every musician and the confidence of Nikka as she achieved her goal of recording her album in a single day; and produced by Justin Stanley (Eric Clapton, Prince) and Bob Clearmountain (Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie) at Henson Studios, with Nikka & the Strings mixed at Clearmountain.  Underneath and In Between flows with intensity with strings that fill out the sound and every track is scrumptious delight for the ears. The clarity of every note and word adds to the tonal template with the sounds cascading like a sparkling waterfall from the speaker.

Nikka Costa sings beautifully making everything number a sonic work of art on Underneath and In Between is full of classics delivered with spirited originality.

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Nothing Compares 2 U
  2. Ain’t That Peculiar
  3. Love To Love You Less
  4. Come Rain Or Come Shine
  5. Cry To Me
  6. Arms Around You
  7. Headfirst
  8. Lover You Should Come Over
  9. Silver Tongue
  10. Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying
  11. Stormy Weather

Nikka & Strings Soulful New Album Underneath and In Between

Who, What and Where the album details

Produced by Justin Stanley & Bob Clearmountain
Engineered & Mixed by: Bob Clearmountain
String arrangements by Jeff Babko
Engineering: Justin Stanley
Assistant Engineer: Sergio Ruelas Jr.
2nd Assistant: Kyle Stevens
Recorded at Henson Studios
Additional recording at the Apogee Studio & Clear Lake Studios
Mixed at Mix This!
Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering
Management by Andre Recke
String Arrangements & Piano by Jeff Babko except “Come Rain Come Shine” arranged by Don Costa, rearranged by Jeff Babko
Shawn Davis- Bass except tracks 4 &11
Sean Hurley- Acoustic Bass on tracks 4 & 11
Aaron Redfield – Drums
Songa Lee – First Violin
Marisa Kuney – Second Violin
Caroline Buckman – Viola except tracks 5, 8 & 10
Tim Loo – Cello
Tom Lea- Viola on tracks 5, 7, 8 & 10
Elizabeth Lea on tracks 3 & 11
Kevin Ball – Triangle
Thanks to all our friends who came in and sang their hearts out:
Jamie Lidell – track 5
Shonka Dukureh – track 5
Gerald Jenkins – track 5
Holly Palmer – track 1
Lucy Woodward – track 1
Jenny Karr – track 1
Danielle Vaughn- track 1
Arnold Mcculler – tracks 1, 5 & 8
Fred White – tracks 1, 5 & 8
Lamont Van Hook – tracks 1, 5 & 8

Nikka & Strings Soulful New Album Underneath and In Between

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