Music Reviews

Album Review: Miraa May – N15

Miraa May’s appropriately named EP N15 is unapologetically London. From the slang, to the subject matter, to the haunting vocals. This EP also shows range as it explores many different genres, including soul, reggae and dancehall.

The opening track ‘Benji’ is a love song dedicated to a guy who (I’m pretty sure) is a metaphor for money. The use of a simple yet gritty bass riff makes up most of the groove. While the concept might be a little overplayed, Miraa does it in a way that makes it feel brand new, with a mix of trap flavour in her flows and soul in her delivery.

‘I Don’t Want Ya (Didi)’ is a complete change in vibe, featuring an instrumental of Caribbean flavour, reminiscent of Wayne Wonder’s ‘No Letting Go’. Lyrics like “You tried to come holla my line, I told a boy boom bye bye”, and “Don’t make me put a price on your life look I’m greazy” are lines that won’t be expected (and might even go unnoticed) on a UK rap mixtape, but the fact that May sings these lyrics with such a sweet tone is what makes this EP so sick. Miraa’s phenomenally unique vocals – using lyrics like “If he ever asks yeah we were never Dargs” – are accompanied by some exceptional instrumentation. It’s almost like she’s writing rap lyrics and singing them over soul beats.

There are moments on this EP that remind me of certain British soul singers of the recent past, like Terri Walker, Corrine Bailey Rae and Sade. Especially on the track ‘Commit’ which creates a vibe that I can’t quite put into words. It’s almost cinematic.

‘Travel Thoughts’ is a really beautiful love song which makes use of a cool reggae bass line to create a real summer romance vibe that you have to bop to.

My favourite track on this EP is definitely the gritty title track. Starting with a live drum roll, this song is a cool mix of soulful instrumentation and trap flows from Miraa. The attitude in Miraa May’s delivery on this track really makes this track what it is; I mean, she kisses her teeth halfway through the first verse, who does that? Her voice is so angelic but she can be so cruddy at the same time; this makes for great music. On the hook, she uses her voice like a sax or trumpet with a crescendo and then fades out. This track is a great mix of UK attitude with an American jazz and soul influence.

Miraa May is a very talented singer-songwriter with a unique sound and if this EP is any indication of the direction she’s going in, I’m excited to see what she has coming next.

Joshua Ogunmokun

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