This year has been a surreal, anxiety-inducing mess. In the weeks following the beginning of the first lockdowns across the world, many of us struggled to process what a ‘new normal’ could look like and how long this bizarre situation could last. In the midsts of this panic and uncertainty came a soul soothing EP by Slow Dance’s newest signee, Uma. Being huge Slow Dance fans and having attended many of the label’s gigs and avidly followed their releases, we gave the EP a listen and immediately fell in love.
Uma’s songwriting style is vulnerable enough to feel personal, but remains fresh-sounding in that it avoids clichés. Perhaps this skill comes from the variety of her upbringing, having been born in Catalonia to a British mother with a background in Performance Art, and a Thai father who worked in a hospice in the slums of Bangkok. Uma writes with a worldly wisdom, singing of the heartbreak and fragility of youth with a knowledge that seems to surpass her age. Alongside this, her compositions merge genres, echoing her classical training but later love affair with pop. Uma herself notes, “I spent a lot of time studying classical music. Later on, becoming more exposed to the likes of pop, I realised how much I enjoyed the fluidity of genres and sounds.”
It’s hard to put the feeling of Bel-li into words better than Uma has herself. She describes the EP as being “all about home and falling into a great love. Late bowls of spaghetti in your belly. Endless summers watching the sunset from my roof.” In a time when travel and endless summer evenings feel very far away, Uma captures the feeling perfectly. It is hard to listen to her releases without feeling wistful but hopeful of future sun kissed memories.
Since the release of Bel-li, Uma has begun to collaborate with Lucy Lu, as reflected on the release of her latest single Bring Me The Mountain. This track sees Uma push her musical boundaries further in a self proclaimed “exploration of acoustic and electronic sounds.” Today it has been announced that this track is part of the Moth & Dove EP, which will be released on Slow Dance on February 19th next year. This double EP will feature both Uma’s earlier EP, Bel-li, and this new EP, including two tracks with Lucy Lu and a live performance of her song ‘EWSK’. The double EP will be released not only digitally, but will also include a coloured vinyl version, Uma’s first release on vinyl.
Uma remains a sound of the future because of her profound talent to make timeless, but simultaneously empathetic music. She is the exact kind of artist needed in times of chaos, and she reminds us of the small comforting details of life that are always there, if we are willing to look for them
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