Album Review: Christelle Bofale – Swim Team
Best Songs: Moving On, Getting On, Origami Dreams, Where to Go
Soulful jazz rock! At least that’s how I would describe Christelle Bofale’s EP Swim Team. This a first for me in regards to hearing this genre, which I’m sure there are a bountiful number of bands in it. “Well, who does she sound like?” I can hear you ask. To be completely honest with you, I have no idea but it’s pretty dope and the perfect backdrop to just about every activity.
The Congolese American songwriter’s roots in music started young as she was fully immersed in her family’s heritage. Bofale grew up listening to Soukos, a genre of dance music from the Congo, and started writing songs on her father’s guitar at the age of 13. Currently, at the age of 22, Bofale uses her instrument and voice to transcend space and sound to create a vivid dream-like state of euphoric sounds. Her guitar tones are massive – a difficult undertaking when you stay exclusively in the cleans and her voice lays over the music like a cushy blanket, occasionally hitting those sweet vibratos and high whisper tones.
At only five songs, Swim Team is a wonderful peek into this artist’s form of expression. Her first release is full of sounds of gloom and bleakness that somehow translate into happy ebbs and flows. Origami Dreams sticks out as one of those soul-touching tracks that comes from a place of genuineness and will find a way to soothe the consciousness of just about every lover of music. It is filled with everything from a chugging bass riff in the verse, to a half timed chorus with out of this world arpeggiated guitar bends, and a solo that rips while staying covert as not to overshadow the song.
Where to Go takes the listener on a journey of self-discovery. With lyrics like “Don’t know where to go/ So why don’t you show me” and “Swallow the pill and figure it out” has the possibility to touch the emotions of many, especially in the fast-paced environment we currently find ourselves in. This is probably the best analogy to describe this work, a much needed break from the outside world and an opportunity to self evaluate…not to get too sappy of course LOL.
Do yourself a favor and check out this EP by Bofale. Coming in at five songs and clocking in at just 26 minutes, it’s a quick listen. This is her first release and hopefully soon we will get a full-length album that will give us more from this amazing artist.