Linah Rocio was a new name to me, but her second solo album Warrior Talk shows her to be a songwriter of quality and a vocalist with great range and dynamism. Her indie pop songs have a jazzy edge, at times with a lovely loose feel and a flowing quality. There is a lot of instrumentation on some of the album’s twelve tracks, and Rocio’s best work comes when solo at the piano, allowing her vocal qualities to come centre stage.
Born in Santiago, Chile, and currently based in Zurich, Linah Rocio mixes European pop with Latin rhythms and jazz beats to create a style of her own. As a songwriter she has a poetic touch, resulting in an album that is largely made up of songs that explore inner conflict yet never become too introspective. The warrior here is a young woman fighting to discover her true self, and it is a very interesting journey.
The stand out track on the album is its first single Kill The Monsters, which follows Linah's quest as she fights to master her inner demons. The simple sound gives prominence to the vocals and a passionate performance emphasises the intensity of the struggle. Also very good is The Right Soil, which tackles struggles with depression and the bass heavy track has a real feel of strength and resilience. Amy Jade, Rocio’s tribute to Amy Winehouse is heartfelt and her loss is clearly expressed, showing the British singer’s influence on her work.
There are quite a few tracks on the album where the instrumentation feels a little heavy; there’s just too much going on. With guitars, trumpets and even a banjo in the mix, the competing melodies don’t always come together. Perhaps those who enjoy jazz more than I do will connect more strongly with the stylings of these songs, but for me when you have a voice as pure and strong as Linah Rocio does you should give it space to shine.
Released: Fri 27th Jan 2017