R&B singers are ten a penny. The market is crowded, with much of the space filled by artists blessed with little talent, but lucky enough to be backed by the might of money-laden labels. And, because of that, it takes something very special to make your average listener sit up and take note.

Well, Irini Mando is something special indeed, and hers is a name you will undoubtedly be hearing a lot more of in the near future.

Standing out in a crowded environment

iriniOnly those living in a cave for the last four or five years will be unaware of the plethora of female solo artists that have taken over much of the folk/indie/R&B scene; Laura Marling, Lucy Rose, Gabrielle Aplin, Maria Mena, to name but a few. To stand out in such a competitive musical landscape is by no means an easy task, yet it is something Mando achieves with what feels like relative ease.

Her voice is at once alluring and enchanting; her sound is distinctive, yet fascinating. The music switches between mellow R&B, soul and elements of electronica, and at times you could be mistaken for thinking that the young woman has received a personal vocal education from the likes of Aaliyah or Ms. Dynamite. She has range, of that there is no doubt, but her true skill lies in melding a variety of genres together so as to create an EP that is undeniably unique.

Each song is not only instilled with a message that clearly depicts personal experience and understanding, but her stories are told with a swagger that is natural, charming and captivating. Tide, the lead single from the EP, is perhaps the best example of this dynamic; the vocals soar, the backing beat almost begs for feet to be tapped, and the video spews fun and energy. Really, what is there not to like?

You can check the video now

It is rare to hear someone, even the most established of artists, able to engage an audience while presenting them with a premise that is most likely well detached from their own knowledge, but Mando achieves her storytelling goals with aplomb. In fact, you will likely find very few people that will regard this release as anything other than the birth of a very special talent.

I am usually reluctant to give five stars to anything other than an absolute masterpiece, but in this case I will happily award top marks to someone whose future is so incredibly bright.

Stream the brand new EP now

Written by Joe Phelan

Irini Mando: A special talent with a unique storytelling gift
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