Tunisian musician Emel (Emel Mathlouthi) gained world-wide recognition when her music provided a backdrop for the Tunisian Revolution, which lead her to perform at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in 2015.
Since then she has not rested on her laurels, her fusion of Arabic sounds and left field electronica seeing her unique sound demolish cultural and musical boundaries, as you can hear on the subtly stirring Kaddesh.
Moving and melancholy, Mathlouthi’s vocals invite comparisons with Susanne Sundfør and Kate Bush, the cadences and flow serving to heighten the emotion of the song, functioning as an instrument in their own right.
The arrangement slowly swells from a gentle rhythm into a series of textured layers of synths, percussion and vocals; balancing an experimental song structure with warm and open tones.
There’s a dark beauty at work here, one that’s hard to resist as it delivers a siren’s call to the weary and careworn.
Kaddesh is from Emel Mathlouthi’s Ensen album which is out now on Partisan Records and can be streamed on Spotify. It is also available on other major digital platforms. You can find out more on her official Facebook page.