Laura Mvula first burst onto my radar when I was still fairly new at KCRW with her track "Green Garden." It sounded like a new kind of pop; it was fun, and it was soulful with a vaguely African bent. As an introduction to a new artist, it was very impressive.
The album, Sing To The Moon, soon followed and it was a sweeping revelation. As good as "Green Garden" was, it hadn't prepared me for the goosebump-inducing highs that were on display throughout the rest of the album. The power and dexterity of Ms. Mvula's voice were breathtaking. She had so many gears she could switch to, from epic to intimate. Added to that, the orchestral arrangements were an element you didn't hear very often throughout modern pop records, and elevated the emotional effect tenfold.
After hyping her up to KCRW listeners and my fellow DJs at the station, I was hopeful, but nervous, when she came to town and performed at the Bootleg Theater in early 2013. She brought the house down and had me on the brink of tears throughout the performance. Her voice paired with the arrangements had the audience enraptured from the jump. After that, I knew her performance 12 hours later on Morning Becomes Eclectic was going to be special.
As you can hear, Laura Mvula sang it to the moon and back.
Check out more KCRW Throwback Sessions:
John Legend’s Apogee Session in 2014
Café Tacvba live on MBE in 1996
Lykke Li live on MBE in 2011
Moby live on MBE in 1999
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings live on MBE in 2014
Animal Collective live on MBE in 2016
Marlon Williams live on MBE in 2018
Khruangbin live on MBE in 2018